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DIKECTORIU1 PASTORALE. 



Give me the priest these graces shall possess : 

Of an ambassador the first address, 

A father s tenderness, a shepherd s care, 

A leader s courage, which the cross can bear ; 

A ruler s awe, a watchman s wakeful eye ; 

A pilot s skill, the helm in storms to ply ; 

A fisher s patience, and a labourer s toil ; 

A guide s dexterity, to disembroil ; 

A prophet s inspiration from above, 

A teacher s knowledge, and a Saviour s love. 

KISITOP KEN. 



DIRECTORIM PASTORALE, 



PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE 



PASTOEAL WORK IN THE CHUECH OF 



ENGLAND. 




REV. JOHN HENBY BLUNT. 



o n p o 



Work your work b etimes, and in His time He will give you your reward." 
ECCLUS. li, 30. 



RIVINGTONS, WATERLOO PLACE; 

HIGH STREET, | TRINITY STREET, 



rfortr. 



1864. 



BV 




1 And he said unto Him, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up 
hence." Exod. xxxiii. 15. 



PREFACE. 



WHETHER we look at the social or the spiritual aspect of 
the relations between the clergy of the Church of England 
and the people committed to their charge, the importance 
of the Pastoral Office to English society and English reli 
gion can hardly be over-estimated. During the last gene 
ration, and so much of the present as has already passed, 
there has been a very rapid development of new phases of 
social life ; education has extended greatly among the 
middle and lower classes ; the power of thinking, and of 
expressing their thoughts, has become a possession of the 
many and not of the few ; personal piety is much more 
respected than it has been for many generations ; and, 
lastly, a conscious and willing assent to the principles and 
system of the Church of England is to be observed among 
a larger proportion of the population than, perhaps, at any 
time since the Reformation, or at least since the suppression 
and persecution of the Church in the seventeenth century. 
All these things work together to make the position of 
the clergy one of importance to the age ; and all make it 
necessary that they should be men of the age if they are to 



VI PREFACE. 

maintain their place, as they ought, at the head of the 
forward march of society. The old ideal of a clergymnn 
as " a gentleman and a scholar " is not one that we can 
afford to despise, whatever other qualifications may be 
thought desirable to fill out a proper ideal. Nor ought 
we to slight the popular newspaper notion that the office 
of the Clergy is " generally to leaven the people, and give 
a good tone to society." There are, indeed, far higher 
objects than these before the eyes of Christ s ministers ; 
but these are yet the tithe of mint, anise, and cummin, 
which we must not neglect to pay, though more exalted 
duties than the rendering of such small tithe may be 
imposed upon us. 

It seems to me that there are four principal particulars 
to which the attention of all who love the Church of 
England, whether clergy or laity, should be earnestly 
directed at once, if the age is to be moulded by it as there 
seems good hope that it may be. 

1. The clergy ought to be maintained still in that high 
social position which they have hitherto occupied, re 
membering that while none but " gentlemen " in habit 
and feeling can ever be acceptable to the higher, the pro 
fessional, and the best of the mercantile classes ; so also, a 
man of refined taste and good social position carries far 
more influence for good with the lower classes than one 
destitute of those qualifications, if the energy and ability 
of the two are equal. 

2. The general knowledge of the clergy ought to keep 
pace with the age, so that there may be many points of 
sympathy, even on secular matters, between them and 



PREFACE. Vll 

their flocks. He who spoke to shepherds and fishermen as 
one familiar with their callings would not have shrunk 
from using the knowledge peculiar to a mechanical, com 
mercial, scientific, and artistic age, for the purposes of the 
Kingdom of Heaven. In our own day few things more 
alienate a clergyman from those who are full of their 
present time and work, than a sympathy which confines 
itself to Mediaeval times, and is a great laudator temporis 
acti, but can find little or nothing to rest on in the nine 
teenth century, of which the present generation is, and 
most justly, so proud. 

3. The spiritual life of the clergy requires to be deve 
loped more and more as religion makes progress in society. 
Openly wicked clergymen are happily become rare amongst 
us, may they become more rare still! but care is re 
quired lest we should fall into an unspirituality of life in 
endeavouring to keep pace with an age of bustle and real 
business. Though there is an increasing reverence for the 
office of the clergyman, and an increasing belief in the 
doctrine of the Twenty-sixth Article of Religion, personal 
sanctity in the clergy is becoming more necessary to their 
real influence for good, in proportion to this respect for 
their office. 

4. Clergymen should strive to be " workmen that need 
not to be ashamed " through want of practical acquaintance 
with their duties. In every profession and occupation a 
more strict technical knowledge is required than in the 
last age ; and the ambassadors of Christ must not be 
behindhand in their persevering endeavours to become 
expert in their calling. 



Vlll PREFACE. 

The volume now published is intended as a humble 
contribution towards promoting such an efficiency in the 
work of the clergy as has been here indicated. It is the 
result of varied experience, much observation in different 
parts of England, and a careful reading of most of the 
works that are extant on the pastoral office ; and it is sent 
into the world with an earnest prayer that it may have 
God s blessing for the furtherance of His glory and for 
the good of His people in the fold of our beloved Church . 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

PAGE 

Principles on the subject to be sought in Church of England formu 
laries. Evidence of those principles as to necessary qualifications, 
independent of, and conferred by, Ordination. Separation of 
pastors as a K\rjpos of the Lord, from the Aabs of the Lord. Gift 
of the Spirit to pastors. Committal to them of the care of souls. 
Relation of pastors to God and man. Example offered them by 
the Good Shepherd Himself. The advantages and discourage 
ments of the pastoral office in the present day .... 1 

CHAPTER II. 

THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

Analogy between the gift of the Spirit for pastoral purposes, and the 
gift of life for physical purposes. Delegation of authority and 
capacity by God in both cases. Ministerial authority and minis 
terial capacity. Illustration of their exercise. Prudence sug 
gested in teaching about pastoral office ; especially to young men, 
and those who do not illustrate principles by practice. Official 
duties flowing from the relation of the pastor to God ; exactness 
in ministrations; accuracy and balance in teaching; persevering 
diligence in official prayers ; the place of such prayers in pastoral 
work ; necessity of diligent study arising from the same relation ; 
and of personal holiness ........ 28 



X CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 

THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

p 

Foundation of it to be laid in the co-operation of God with pastoral 
work. Spiritual and temporal laws of the relation. The parochial 
system. Endowments an accident of pastoral relation to flock, 
but yet a quid pro quo. The clergyman s bearing towards his 
people. Sympathy, approachableness, readiness, condescension 
to infirmities. Law s picture of a holy pastor. Social intercourse 
between pastor and flock, its necessity and its safeguards. 
Poverty of some clergy. Temptations to partiality for persons 
and classes. Necessity of gaining men over to religion. Follow - 
ings to be avoided and discouraged. Importance of town popu 
lations. Systematic habits of visitation desirable, and also of 
teaching. Over -work ......... 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

Extreme party opinions about Preaching. Its place in the system of 
the Church of England shows its great importance; and is justi 
fied by Holy Scripture. The object of preaching is to draw souls 
nearer to God. This to be done by exposition of Scripture ; by 
instruction in doctrine, especially concerning our blessed Lord; 
by setting forth the Christian moral law ; by exhortation and 
consolation. Objections to borrowed sermons; which are ex 
ceptionally allowable only hi two cases. Original composition, 
from study of books, intellectual meditation on Holy Scripture, 
and study of human nature. Systematic plans of sermon subjects 
to be established. Xote on antiquarian styles of preaching. 
Plain preaching does not involve bud taste, but good vernacular 
language and plain simple thoughts. Extempore preaching, its 
disuse and revival ; the most natural and effective mode of preach- 



CONTENTS. XI 

PAGE 

ing ; the way to practise it ; its advantages to pastor and people. 
Necessity of dependence on the grace of God for the ministry of 
His Word . 99 



CHAPTER Y. 

THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

Baptism and the Holy Communion are essential parts of the pastoral 
system. Means, not sources of grace. Necessity for exactness in 
their administration. Advantages of Public Baptism. Kules re 
specting Private Baptism. The pastor s duty with reference to 
Baptisms by Dissenters. Baptism in its practical relation to 
pastoral work. Confirmation a link between Baptism and the 
Holy Communion. Reformation law and practice compared with 
modern practice. Relation of catechizing to Confirmation. Defi 
nite preparation of candidates. The confirmed and the Holy 
Communion. Much detail about the doctrine of the Holy Com 
munion not advisable here. Its place in the pastoral system, as 
an avdfj.vr]ffis, and as a means of grace. Frequent communion 
valuable in both ways for pastoral work, both to pastor and 
people ............ 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

I ractice of modern Church higher than that of former times. Its 
importance. Who are to be considered as the sick. How to visit 
aged, infirm, and invalid persons profitably. Cases of temporary 
sickness. The pastor s duties towards persons in a state of mortal 
sickness ; prolonged or sudden. Visitation service, when and how 
applicable. Death-beds of religious Dissenters. Death-beds of 
irreligious persons. Some general rules about visiting the sick. 
Suggestion for u Visiting Manual. Private Communion. The 
pastor s duty in cases of infectious disease. Rules by which in 
fection may be avoided ........ 



Xll CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VII. 

PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

PAGE 

Its necessity generally recognized. Some mechanical aids towards 
acquaintance with parishioners. Value of intercourse with them. 
Opportunities of gaining it. The Church theory of pastoral dis 
cipline. The pastor s practical interpretation of such theory in 
dealing with various classes of persons ; wicked livers ; Dissenters ; 
modern sceptics. Endeavours to win over from error to truth, 
by the setting forth of Christ. Discovering and using the good 
that may he mingled with the error. Dealing with young men, 
and " modern thought." Confidence in truth .... 224 

CHAPTER VIII. 

PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

Necessity of detailed instruction and guidance. Most effectually given 
in the parsonage study or parish room. Classes valuable for 
bringing parishioners there; and for driving instruction home. 
Guidance needed in the details of Christian morals. Use of 
casuistry to that end. Confession cannot be overlooked. Has 
always been used in some form or other. Church of England 
principles on the subject. The pastor s duty deduced from those 
principles. The limitations indicated by them. The dangers at 
tending confession. Eeticence in all confidential intercourse be 
tween the pastor and his flock 247 

CHAPTER IX. 

SCHOOLS. 

Children part of the pastor s cure of souls. Clergymen considered as 
the educational agents of society. Nature of pastoral duty towards 
education, in private, endowed, and poor schools. The parish 
school, and the clergyman s relation to it. Necessity of religious 



CONTENTS. Xlll 

PAGE 

education in parish schools not now contested. School system to 
be worked in with Church system. Definite objects to be set 
before us in religious instruction. Co-operation of clergyman and 
school-teacher in giving it. Certain rules to be observed in 
giving it. Value of learning Holy Scripture by rote. Social 
character of a class formed in the schools of the poor. Co-opera 
tion of parents to be sought. Infant schools. Evening schools. 
Sunday schools. A form of school prayers ..... 271 



CHAPTEE X. 

PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

Combination of clergy and laity necessary for perfection of pastoral 
work. The churchwarden s office. Laymen s work in gathering 
funds for Church purposes in their parish ; in managing them ; 
in distributing alms to the poor. Unpaid Scripture Readers, and 
the missionary utility of educated men. Church singers. Even 
ing schools, and lectures. Women and their work; valuable 
character of the latter in a parish. Cautions and safeguards re 
specting it. Lady-teachers in schools. District visiting; who 
qualified ; the necessity of clerical supervision ; unity of plan ; 
devotional character in the work. Organization of the laity for 
Church work . 307 



CHAPTEE XI. 

AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

Necessary to supplement the parochial system ; with means for pro 
moting provident habits ; for offering wholesome recreation and 
improvement to working men ; for securing personal interest in 
the work of the Church. "Penny" banks, their great value. 
Plan of a combined bank, clothing, and coal club. Associations of 
working men a guide to what the Church should provide. The 
Hagley Village Club. A Church Institute and its rules. The 
Working Men s Club. The Oxford Churchmen s Union. Re 
ligious Societies. The Bangor Lay Association .... 338 



XIV CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XII. 

PARISH FESTIVALS. 

TAGE 

Becoming a part of the parochial system. Towns better provided for 
than country by wholesome established places of recreation. 
Village feasts; their evils; the remedy for those evils. Harvest 
homes. School-treats and tea-drinkings. Estimate for enter- 
taming 200 children. Various useful provisions for such occa 
sions 360 

CHAPTER XIII. 

MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

General care of the Church. Church Restoration, its principles and 
practice : naves for congregations ; chancels for performance of 
Divine service ; decorations. Organs. Belfries, bell-ringers, and 
bells ; law respecting them ; ringing and chiming ; Mr. Ella- 
combe s apparatus for chiming. Care of churchyards. Sanitary 
suggestions. Money for Church purposes 372 

APPENDIX. 

A. Assistant Curates ......... 403 

B. Bells, &c. . . 406 

C. The Influence of Ignorance on Christian Life . . . . ib. 
1). Rules of the Oxftml Churchmen s Union ; and of the Bangor 

Church Lay Association 410 

E. Town Reading-room and Library ... . 419 

F. Plan for forming and carrying on a Village Lending Library . 421 

(ir. Harvest Home Pastoral Letter 422 

H. Belfry Rules ...... ... 426 

I. Prayers for a Choir ......... 428 

INDEX . 431 



ERRATA. 

P. 60, line 15, for " rule " read " habit." 

P. 113, line 6 from the bottom, insert " the same" before " yesterday. " 

P. 197, line 8 from the bottom, for " position " read " portion." 



7 



CHAPTER I. 

THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

To carry out effectively the duties which belong to the 
office of a Parochial Clergyman, the person occupying 
that position ought to have a definite knowledge of 
the real spiritual obligation which rests upon him with 
reference to the people committed to his charge : and 
of the actual relations between him and them, which 
the Church, by whom he has been sent among them, 
supposes to exist. 

Such a knowledge will be acquired best, and 
most safely, by taking as a starting-point England 
those formal documents of the Church of Pciples to 

be sought for 

England in which there is direct or indirect n the sub- 
reference to the work in question : for although 
the varying requirements of different ages may neces 
sitate a change in the details of a clergyman s work, 
the original principles on which the ministry of the 
Church of England is founded remain the same in one 
century as they were in another, so long as those 
authoritative documents remain unaltered. The sub 
stantial character of the office is fixed by this funda- 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

mental outline; and a loyal adherence to it will be 
rewarded by the attainment of solidity and strength in all 
who follow out its leading plan. 

Such an examination of the various documents which 

form the standard of Church of England principles and 

devotion, will show that there are certain quali- 

Qualmca- 

tions iioecs- fications required of her clergy which precede, 
arc indc- an( l are independent of their ordination, but 



which ai> 6 considered of the highest importance 
in those who have to undertake the clerical 
Others con- office : that there are others which are conferred 
ordination. ^y ordination : and that the ordained persons 
who constitute the ministry of the Church stand 
in a special relation towards God and men. A right 
understanding and appreciation of these three points is 
so essential to a proper conception of the pastoral office, 
that it will be well at the outset to set them forth in 
some detail. 

. Qualifications independent of Ordination. 

The mere legal requirements of the Church 

Mature age. 

of England place the age of those who are to 

enter upon the care of souls at a higher standard than that 
at which men may begin the practice of other professions. 
At twenty-one a man may be placed in the important 
position of a legislator in the House of Lords, or the 
House of Commons, may occupy still more important 
official posts in the State, may follow the profession 
of the law, or that of medicine : but he cannot become 
a clergyman at all before the age of twenty-three, nor 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. O 

be put in charge of souls as pastor of a parish before 
that of twenty- four. Thus it is required that ab initio 
the Church of England pastor be a man whose character 
and judgment are in some degree formed ; and in practice 
the theory is so far extended that very few clergymen 
are actually put in charge of souls until they have served 
an apprenticeship of several years in the subordinate 
and comparatively irresponsible position of curates. 

In addition to this it is required that all 
so sent to take part in the ministerial work ^g r eha " 
of the Church, shall be men of whom responsi 
ble acquaintances can give a good account as to their 
previous lives, the standard of a comparatively mature 
age not being considered sufficient. And if this require 
ment is honestly carried out by all concerned, no one 
can take charge of souls of whom it cannot be testified 
positively in very solemn terms by three clergymen, 
and negatively by the assent of the congregation to the 
"Si quis," that for four years previously (one during 
which he has been in Deacon s orders, and three before) 
he has lived piously, soberly, and honestly; has not 
held, written, or taught any thing contrary to the doctrine 
or discipline of the Church in which he is to minister ; 
and is considered to be, as to his moral conduct, a 
person worthy to be ordained to so important an office. 

It is also required, further, that the general 
education of the clergyman shaU be of the d educa 
highest order : of the same kind, in fact, which 
those go through, who are destined to undertake the 
duties of what are often called the " governing classes " 

B 2 



4 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

of the country. And it may be stated as a fact that 
this law is so far carried out, that there is a larger pro 
portion of thoroughly educated men among the clergy, 
than in the ranks of any other profession. 

The definite rule of the Church with respect to this 
general education of the clergy is contained in the 
Preface to the Ordination Service, in which it is directed 
that the Bishop shall only proceed to ordain candidates 
after he has proved by examination and trial, that they 
are "learned in the Latin tongue." This really pre 
supposes such good classical training as is gained at 
College: and it is so interpreted, that if any of the 
candidates for the ministry have not taken degrees at 
an University, the same standard of knowledge is required 
of them as if they had, before they can be enlisted in 
the ranks of the clergy. 

A further gradation of knowledge, that of 
education* *ke special subjects connected with their pro 
fession, is also indicated as necessary by the 
rule that they shall be "sufficiently instructed in the 
Holy Scriptures." The theology of the Scriptures is 
to be the life-long study of the pastor ; but he must be 
able to show at the outset of his course, that he has 
acquired some firm foundation of such knowledge from the 
theological lectures of the University, or by means of an 
additional year of divinity education, and training, spent 
at a Theological College. 

Antecedently then to any thing conferred by ordination, 
and therefore independently of the rite, the clergy of the 
Church of England are required to be men of mature age, 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

of character which will bear a searching investigation, of 
superior general acquirements, and of some special know 
ledge of their profession l . And at the very verge of 
ordination they are made to pledge themselves anew that 
they will be strictly loyal to Church and State, as being 
bearers of important public offices 2 ; and that they will 
continue to maintain that position as to character and 
education which they are proved to have attained. What 
ever spiritual gifts may be theirs by holy living and ordi 
nation, they are required to be men whose character and 
attainments are such as to place them in the foremost rank 
of the educated classes ; and if there are those among the 
clergy who do not come up to this ideal of the Church of 
England, the fault lies in the administration of her rules, 
not in her constitution a contingency against which even 
stricter provisions than those which are made could not 
ensure absolute safety 3 . 

1 How far high education of clergymen is consistent with Holy Scripture 
is shown by Bp. Bull in the Tenth Sermon printed in his English Theological 
works. Although there are few, if any, Clergy so ignorant as those whom 
Bp. Bull had in his mind when he wrote this famous sermon, the lessons 
which it contains are of a character well calculated to " freshen up " in a 
busy clergyman s mind a sense of the necessity for continual study as a part 
of his official duties. 

2 By subscribing the 36th Canon, containing three articles respecting the 
Royal Supremacy, the Prayer Book, and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. 

3 " Canon 34. The quality of such as are to be made ministers. 

"No Bishop shall henceforth admit any person into Sacred Orders .... 
except he .... hath taken some degree of school in either of the said 
Universities ; or at the least, except he be able to yield an account of his 
faith in Latin, according to the Articles of Religion approved in the Synod 
of the Bishops and Clergy of this realm, one thousand five hundred sixty 
and two, and to confirm the same by sufficient testimonies out of the Holy 



b THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

The wisdom of these requirements will be sufficiently 
apparent to any one who considers how much influence is 
possessed by the clergy in the country at large, and by each 
of them in their own particular parishes. They are often 
the only link between those parishes and the other classes 
of society, and their influence is most beneficial on the 
side of order and morality in the midst of a society other 
wise almost excluded from all good influences. It is also 
necessary that they should be capable, from education and 
social training (such as Universities furnish), of taking 
their place without embarrassment to themselves or offence 
to others on those higher levels of society which are occu 
pied by their rich parishioners, that their office may be 
respected through the respect won also by their persons. 
For the clergy to be indifferent to such qualifications in 
after life is to break the contract made with them ipso facto 
in their ordination ; and clergy or laity who fail to see the 
value of them have failed to learn the lessons which have 
been taught by the result of their absence in the friars of 
former days, the Dissenting preachers of modern times, 
and many of the clergy in an age only lately passed away. 

Scriptures ; and except, moreover, he shall then exhibit Letters Testimonial 
of his good life and conversation, under the seal of some College of Cambridge 
or Oxford, where before he remained ; or of three or four grave ministers ; 
together with the subscription and testimony of other credible persons, who 
have known his life and behaviour by the space of three years next before." 

" Canon 35. The examination of such as are to be made ministers. 

" .... If any Bishop or Suffragan shall admit any to Sacred Orders, who is 
not so qualified and examined, as before we have ordained, the Archbishop of 
his province having notice thereof, and being assisted therein by one Bishop, 
shall suspend the said Bishop or Sulfragan so ofl ending, from making either 
Deacons or Priests for the space of two years." 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 7 

It is certainly no part of the Church s intention that her 
clergy as men of the world should be below men of other 
professions in their acquirements or social status, any more 
than that they should as Christians be below the higher 
standards of personal religion. It would clearly be con 
trary to the constitution of the Church of England if a 
class of clergy were to arise similar to those of whom we 
read in Macaulay s " History of England," in " Echard s 
Contempt of the Clergy," or in the novels of the last age ; 
a class whom, even so lately as 1781, Paley thought it 
necessary to exhort, as Archdeacon of Carlisle, that they 
should abstain from visiting beer-shops and from asso 
ciating there on equal terms with very low company. 

The social and educational position of the pastor is, in 
fact, a most important element in the pursuit and develop 
ment of his proper work, and one by no means to be 
slighted. As an " officer and a gentleman " is the well- 
known characteristic designation of a Queen s servant in 
the navy or the army, so should the time-honoured ap 
pellation of a " scholar and a gentleman " still continue to 
be deserved by those who serve God in the ministry of the 
Church of England. 

. Qualifications conferred by Ordination. 

Such being the acquirements which the clergy are pre 
supposed to possess and exercise in common with other 
men, let us go on to consider in what special particulars 
they are differenced from them by the ceremony of ordi 
nation, and what are the qualifications superadded by that 
rite to the person in. whom the qualifications of character 



8 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

and education already exist, for the purpose of enabling 
him to exercise the office of a pastor in the flock of the 
good Shepherd. 

In the first place, it is clear that the clergy 
Separation on wnom the order of priesthood is conferred, 

from the 

Laity. and who are thus empowered to become pastors, 

are, by the act of ordination, separated from 
the ranks of secular men and from the pursuit of secular 
employments, a KXijpoc of the Lord taken out from among 
the Aao of the Lord. 

In the formularies which bear upon the subject this is 
made very plain. At the time of ordination an exhorta 
tion is read to the candidate deacons by the bishop, in 
which he sets forth the great responsibilities belonging to 
the higher order which they are seeking, in which he is to 
say, " And seeing that you cannot by any other means 
compass the doing of so weighty a work, pertaining to the 
salvation of man, but with doctrine and exhortation taken 
out of the Holy Scriptures, and with a life agreeable to the 
same ; consider how studious ye ought to be in reading 
and learning the Scriptures .... and for this self -same 
cause, how ye ought to forsake and set aside (as much as you 
may] all worldly cares and studies. We have good hope 
.... that you have clearly determined, by God s grace, 
to give yourselves wholly to this office, whereunto it hath 
pleased God to call you : so that, as much as lieth in you, 
you will apply yourselves wholly to this one thing, and draw all 
your cares and studies this way" In accordance with this 
exhortation, one of the vows afterwards made by those to 
be ordained is to " lay aside the study of the world and 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 9 

the flesh." And in case this should be thought indefinite, 
there is the express law of the Church of England, con 
tained in the 76th Canon, entitled "Ministers at no 
time to forsake their calling;" which enjoins that "no 
man being admitted a deacon or minister, shall from 
thenceforth voluntarily relinquish the same, nor afterward 
use himself in the course of his life as a layman, upon pain 
of excommunication." 

This separation of the clergy into a distinct order of 
men is spoken of by the earliest Christian writers ; Clemens 
Romanus 4 , the companion of St. Paul, and Ignatius s , the 
apostolic bishop of Antioch, referring to it in their 
Epistles ; and the (cAfj/ooe, KXmptKol, or ckrici, being clearly 
distinguishable from the Xaoc or laid, the body of Chris 
tian people in all early Christian writings. The reason of 
this is, that by ordination men receive a distinctive " mark 
or character, acknowledged to be indelible 6 ." "It severeth 
them that have it," says Hooker, "from other men, and 
maketh them a special order consecrated unto the service 
of the Most High in things wherewith others may not 
meddle." And although all Christian people are part of a 
"royal priesthood," as "the whole congregation" was 
" holy, every one of them, and the Lord was among them," 
yet is it an error to suppose that a separate ministry is, 
for this reason, not required among Christians, as it was 
in the " gainsaying of Core " for him and his companions 
to say, " Wherefore thus lift ye up yourselves above the 
congregation of the Lord 7 ?" This separation of the 

* I. Ad Corinth. I. x. 19. 5 Ad Polyc. c. 6. 

6 Hooker, V. Ixxvii. 2. 7 Numb. xvi. 3. 



10 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

clergy is so complete by the act of ordination, that, 
again to use the words of Hooker, " let them know 
which put their hands unto this plough, that, once conse 
crated unto God, they are made His peculiar inheritance 
for ever. Suspensions may stop, and degradations utterly 
cut off the use or exercise of power before given ; but 
voluntarily it is not in the power of man to separate and 
pull asunder what God by His authority coupleth V As 
therefore a person is so separated from the body of men 
by baptism that he can never after become a heathen in 
fact or in responsibility, however much he may become 
like one in sin and wickedness, so a person qualified to 
become pastor by ordination to the priesthood can never 
again become in fact one of that body of laity from which 
he has been separated by ordination, though a legal act 
may possibly deprive him, or relieve him from the public 
exercise of the duties to which he devoted himself. 

But God never sends us duties, or lays rc- 
^rvx b- f sponsibilities upon us, without giving us the 
stowed. ability to work out the one, and to bear the 
other. There is a -^apaKT^ impressed and im 
posed by ordination, and there is also a ^apiana bestowed 
with it by the same rite. The very words which our Lord 
used when He bestowed that ^apia^a upon the twelve 
apostles are used with an applied meaning and force by 
the Church of England in the ordination of every one who 
is to take the duties of pastor in a parish or a diocese. They 
are, " Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a 

8 Hooker, V. Ixxvii. 3. 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 11 

priest in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by 
the imposition of our hands 9 . Whose sins thou dost 
forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost 
retain, they are retained. And be thou a faithful dispenser 
of the Word of God, and of His holy Sacraments ; in the 
Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost." In after life it is well for clergymen to recall to 
mind the force which these words appeared to have at the 
solemn time of ordination. No one could use them, no 
one could kneel down before God to have them thus used, 
with a conscious conviction that they meant much less 
than according to the ordinary rules of language they 
seem to mean. When our blessed Lord, "the chief 
Shepherd," used them over the apostles, they conveyed (as 
none can doubt) the gift which they professed to convey ; 
and they could not be consciously adopted, either actively 
by a bishop, or passively by the person voluntarily kneel 
ing before him, without the alternative of belief or blas 
phemy. Although then there may have been hesitation 
and want of exact definition in explaining the sense in 
which they have thus been used, there can be no doubt 
that they have been substantially understood by the hun 
dreds of English bishops who have used them, and the 
thousands of English priests over whom they have been 
uttered, in their literal and natural sense. They have 
been understood to convey, in connexion with the accom 
panying imposition of hands, a special gift of God for the 

9 It is observable that until 1662 this form of words stood, " Receive the 
Holy Ghost. Whose siiis," &c. The special designation of the object for 
which the gift is bestowed was only then inserted. 



12 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

work of the priesthood in all its parts. And the special 
gift thus bestowed is, in the words of Hooker, the " pre 
sence of the Holy Ghost, partly to guide, direct, and 
strengthen us in all our ways, and partly to assume unto 
itself for the more authority those actions that appertain 
to our place and calling." The consequence of this gift 
is that "we have for the least and meanest duties per 
formed by virtue of ministerial power, that to dignify, 
grace, and authorize them, which no other offices on earth 
can challenge. Whether we preach, pray, baptize, com 
municate, condemn, give absolution, or whatsoever, as 
disposers of God s mysteries, our words, judgments, acts, 
and deeds are not ours but the Holy Ghost s V 

The idea thus directly exhibited in the actual words of 
ordination is also reflected in all the prayers which imme 
diately refer to the clergy, and by the general analogy of 
the services throughout the Prayer Book. In the litany 
used at the time of ordination there is, besides the ordinary 
prayer for the " illumination " of the clergy, a special 
clause beseeching God that He will be pleased to bless 
these His servants, and to pour His grace upon them, 
that they may duly execute their office to the edifying of 
His Church, and the glory of His holy Name. The 
epistle read at the Communion is that significant one from 
the fourth chapter of Ephesians in which St. Paul speaks 
of the "gifts" bestowed on the Church through the 
ascension of our Lord, " for the perfecting of the saints, 
for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of 

1 Hooker, V. Ixxvii. 8. 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 13 

Christ." The exhortation magnifies the office of the 
priesthood, and declares that as the will, so the ability to 
execute it aright is given by God alone. In the replies to 
the bishop s questions, which constitute the ordination 
vows of the priest, as the replies of the godparents at 
baptism constitute the baptismal vows of the Christian, 
the solemn form is used, " The Lord being my helper." 
The bishop s blessing invokes the " strength and power " 
of Almighty God upon the kneeling candidates. And, 
lastly, the Yeni Creator is a special prayer for the gift of 
the Holy Ghost to attend the imposition of hands. Thus 
the general character of the Ordination Service illustrates 
the reality of the central words used at the moment when 
the persons are set apart by the " laying on of the hands 
of the presbytery," and shows that they are used with the 
solemn intention of conveying to those ordained the great 
gift of which they profess to announce the bestowal. 

Further illustration of a similar, but more independent 
kind, is to be found in the general tone of the Prayer 
Book, in places where no special petitions are offered 
for the clergy apart from the Christian body at large. 
In the absolution at morning and evening prayer the 
" power " which God has given to His ministers is referred 
to as well as the " commandment," the latter word repre 
senting the xapcutrfip, the former the xapiafjia : and so 
far as the absolutions at the Holy Communion and the 
Visitation of the Sick are more authoritative in tone than 
those at the daily services, so much further do they carry 
the proof of the point in view. In all acts of benediction 
there is likewise an assumption of a spiritual ability to 



14 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

convey blessing : and when in the Marriage Service the 
priest says, " Those whom God hath joined together let 
no man put asunder," it is directly and unmistakeably 
assumed that the work of the priest is that which Hooker 
declares it to be, the work of the Holy Ghost. So, further, 
is the supra-natural qualification of the priest, as distinct 
from the laity, clearly evidenced in all parts of the service 
for the Holy Communion, from his offering of the " alms 
and oblations " to his final offering of " this our sacrifice 
of praise and thanksgiving," and the very sacred benedic 
tion in which he fulfils the words of Christ, " My peace I 
leave with you ;" " Freely ye have received, freely give." 

And in all this, the tone of the Prayer Book is quite in 
keeping with the tone -of Holy Scripture, in passages such 
as 2 Cor. iii. 6, 7 ; Eph. iii. 7 ; iv. 7 ; 1 Tim. i. 12, and 
many others 2 , which speak of the ministerial capacity as 
derived from a gift which God has bestowed especially on 
His ministers for the purposes of the work assigned them 
in building up the mystical body of Christ. 

In the exercise of such a gift is fulfilled that truth 
declared by the Apostle in the first of the above passages : 
" Who also hath made us able ministers (ocavwcrfv i^uae 
SmKovouc) of the New Testament ; not of the letter, but of 
the spirit : for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in 
stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could 
not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of 

2 Some, of which the meaning is lost in the English, as is the case with 
St. Paul s description of himself in Rom. xv. 16, Xfirovpyov Itjaov 
iipovpyouvTa TO tvayye\iov rov Ofov. 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 15 

his countenance ; which glory was to be done away ; how 
shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious ? 
For if the ministration of condemnation be glorious, much 
more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in 
glory." By the gift of the Spirit to the Christian ministry 
for the ministration of the Spirit, all the various offices of 
the old Jewish ministry which are gathered up into it are 
elevated, because they are spiritualized. The principle of 
the ministry of God, as far as it was developed under the 
Old Testament dispensation, was contained in the offices of 
elder and priest. In the same ministry under the New 
Testament dispensation, these offices are combined and 
elevated, so that the elder of the synagogue and the priest 
of the temple are united and continued, but in a more 
" glorious " ministry, in the Christian priest. No longer 
indeed does the presbyter interpret a law to which 
obedience in any high degree was an impossibility, for 
the ministration of condemnation has been displaced by 
the ministration of righteousness. No longer does the 
priest of God offer up sacrifices of slain beasts which could 
not take away sin, for the blood of the Lamb has been shed 
once for all : the offering of the shewbread has passed 
into the exalted offering of the Eucharist, and that of 
incense into prayer in the name of Christ 3 . Glorious as 

3 A change beautifully predicted by the prophet Malachi. " From the 
rising up of the Sun to the going down of the same, My Name shall be great 
among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto My 
Name, and a pure offering ; for My Name shall be great among the heathen, 
saith the Lord of Hosts." Malachi i. 11. So one of the earliest of Jewish 
commentaries, the Berescith Rahba, the substance of which dates from the 
time of our Lord, is said to declare that " in the times of the Messiah, all 
offerings shall cease, except the offering of Bread and Wine." 



16 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

was the ministration which dealt with types and shadows, 
how much more glorious is the ministration which deals 
with the realities and substance of worship and grace, 
through the power of the Holy Ghost accompanying it. 
" For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord." 

" We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the 

excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." 

. Cure of souls, and relation of Pastor to God and man. 

By separation to his office then, and by the special gift 
of the Holy Ghost bestowed for the work of that office, the 
Christian priest is qualified to become a pastor of Christ s 
flock. The qualifications for that position are completed 
by ordination, but the actual and definite cure of souls 
is given by institution to a particular parish. The chief 
cure of the souls of every diocese is vested in its bishop, 
and every priest entrusted with it acts as his deputy. 
Accordingly cure of souls is given in a solemn manner 
by the clergyman to be instituted kneeling before the 
bishop, who commits to him the charge with the words 
(or some of a similar kind), "Receive this charge, my 
cure of souls and thine, in the Name of the Father, and of 
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." A commission of a less 
responsible nature is given to unbeneficed clergymen, 
in the form of a licence "to do the work of an assistant 
curate," in some parish already committed, as rectory, 
vicarage, or perpetual curacy, to an actual curate in the 
person of the clergyman holding the benefice *. 

4 See Appendix A. 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 17 

Such being the characteristics of the pastoral office 
as set forth in the formularies and usages of the Church of 
England, let us conclude this chapter by taking a review 
of that office as a whole, and especially in its relation 
to that Chief Pastor whom it represents in His flock on 
earth. 

For the word itself, it is not clear how it became 
originally applied to the ministers of God. The earliest 
instances of its use in a spiritual sense at all, are to be 
found in that highest sense in which it is applied to 
our Blessed Lord. Probably "the shepherd, the stone 
of Israel," in Jacob s blessing, is such an application, 
and several of a similar character in the Psalms. But 
the earliest certain use of the term in this way, is 
by the prophet Isaiah, in the beautiful passage, "He 
shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather 
the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, 
and shall gently lead those that are with young." The 
same prophet does indeed say of some, "His watchmen 
are blind .... dumb dogs .... they are shepherds which 
cannot understand:" and there are fourteen or fifteen 
places in Jeremiah, where there are similar allusions ; 
but in all these passages, the secular leaders (or the priests 
as secular leaders) of Israel appear to be intended : and 
I do not think there are any instances before the 
Captivity, in which the Old Testament writers use the 
word pastor in the sense of a spiritual leader, except 
in those where our Lord Himself is referred to in His 
character as the Messiah. 

In Ezekiel and the post- captivity writers the word is 



18 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

more clearly used in the Gospel sense. Perhaps this is to 
be accounted for by the fact that those persons who, from 
their knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, were competent 
to teach and expound them in the synagogues, were called 
by the name of pastors ; and that as synagogues were not 
established before the Captivity, (though proscuchao were 
common,) such officers did not exist in the time of Isaiah 
and earlier writers. In later times, the Jews applied the 
same name to their elders, and to the collectors of alms, 
or deacons : and hence probably, though by no means 
certainly, the introduction of it into the Christian Church. 
In the formularies of the Church of England the word is 
used three or four times only, in one of the Ordination 
prayers, and in the collects of St. Peter s and St. 
Matthias s days. The Litany clause in which the clergy 
are prayed for, was once worded " Bishops, pastors, and 
ministers of the Church," but at the Savoy Conference 
in 1662, the expression was exchanged for "Bishops, 
Priests, and Deacons," the terms "pastor" and "minis 
ter " being too general to be used as specific names of 
the two lower orders of the ministry 5 . It need hardly be 
added, that the idea of the laity being a flock, of sinners 
being lost sheep, presupposes in some degree the appella 
tion of shepherd for their clergy. 

The New Testament application of the term pastor is of 



5 I do not feel at all sure, however, that "pastors and ministers " did not 
represent beneficed priests (with cure of souls) and their assistant deacons. 
Until recent times I do not think any but deacons were unbeneficed, 
except a few priests who acted as substitutes for non-resident rectors and 
vicars ; and perhaps they had been ordained priests on college titles. 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 19 

such sanctified origin as to establish a firm place for it in 
the vocabulary of the Christian Church of all ages. 
Among the many terms afterwards adopted to express 
the functions or responsibilities of the Christian ministry, 
such as stewards, watchmen, ambassadors, builders, 
labourers, pastor or shepherd is the one term which 
our Blessed Lord identifies with His own ministerial 
office and functions; "I am the Good Shepherd:" and 
His use of it seems to have dwelt on the ears of the 
early Church, like the echo of a sweet strain of music. 
Thus St. Paul speaks of "the Lord Jesus, that great 
Shepherd of the sheep," and the Apostle to whom his 
Master had said "Feed My sheep" calls that Master 
" the chief Shepherd," in memory of his own subordinate 
pastorate ; and bids the sheep of his own nation, who were 
scattered abroad, remember that they had come out of 
Judaism into the Christian flock of Him who was the 
" Shepherd and Bishop of their souls V 

In the last words of the Good Shepherd to St. Peter, we 
may find, as St. Chrysostom beautifully shows, the true 
key to the meaning and use of the word pastor. The 
sole question which He asked of the Apostle was, " Lovest 
thouMe?" It was the sole qualification He sought for 
in him whom He had already " enabled " by setting him 
apart for the Apostleship. And so again for proof of 

Considering the free use of "pastor" as a designation of Christian 
ministers, it is singular to find that there is only one instance of such an 
application of the word in the New Testament, that in Eph. iv. 11. 
Hooker thought that the " pastors and teachers " there spoken of, were 
Presbyters with cure of souls, as distinguished from itinerant "Evan 
gelists." 

c 2 



20 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

his love, He bade the Apostle do but one work, " Feed My 
sheep." He might have said to him, If you love Me, 
fast, lie on the naked ground, be in watchings, defend 
the oppressed, be a father to the orphan, and a husband 
to the widow. But passing by all else, what does He 
say more than "Feed My sheep?" And what more 
need He to say ? For to love Him as the penitent 
Apostle loved is to be ready to do all these and much 
more in His service; and to feed the sheep of Christ 
is to do these things and all else that falls within the 
province of the Good Shepherd s deputies in the earthly 
work of His Church. 

Thus we may see how a true interpretation of the 
pastoral office must be sought, not in any contracted 
notions that may have been attached to the term pastor 
by those who have taken only a surface glance at Holy 
Scripture, and judged of God s words by their own pre 
conceived opinions, but in the full development of those 
characteristics which belong to the work of Christ in 
gathering souls out of the wilderness of the world, into 
the "one fold" of the "one Shepherd." The perfect 
pattern of pastoral work is to be found in Him of whom 
it was said of old, " He shall feed His flock like a 
shepherd ; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, 
and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead 
those that are with young:" "As a shepherd seeketh 
out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep 
that are scattered ; so will I seek out My sheep, and 
will deliver them out of all places where they have 
been scattered in the cloudy and dark day I will 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 21 

feed My flock, and cause them to lie down, saith the 
Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring 
again that which was driven away, and will bind up 
that which was broken, and will strengthen that which 

was sick .... I will feed them with judgment And 

I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed 
them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, 
and he shall be their shepherd." "The good shepherd 
giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, 
and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, 
seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep and fleeth, 
and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 
The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth 
not for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and know 
My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father 
knoweth Me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down 
My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which 
are not of this fold : them also I must bring, and they 
shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold, and one 
shepherd 7 ." 

From the exalted pattern thus set before us in the 
person of the Good Shepherd, we may revert again to the 
characteristics of His servants and deputies as set forth in 
the formularies of the Church ; and combining the two, 
so far as we may, in one picture, we shall form an ideal of 
the pastor as a servant of Christ separated from among 
His ordinary servants, and endowed with special grace to 
carry on His work. As He is the one and only Mediator 
between God and man, so does He depute to these His 

i Isa. xl. 11. Ezek. xxxiv. 12. 23. St. John x. 11. 16. 



22 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

servants to be channels of communication by which the 
benefits of His mediation are conveyed to men. As He is 
the one Intercessor in heaven, so does He set apart His 
ministers to lead the intercessions of the congregation of 
the faithful to the Father by Him. As He is the " one 
Shepherd " whose mediation and intercession are the means 
by which lost sheep arc brought into the green pastures, 
and led beside the still waters of God s grace and salva 
tion, so does He send forth His under-shepherds into the 
world to gather in, and to feed, to guide, guard, and save 
the sheep of His inheritance. And looking at our Lord s 
pastoral character as proceeding from His mediatorial and 
intercessional character, it will be seen how the charac 
teristics of those pastors whom He makes His deputies in 
the kingdom of grace must be of an analogous nature. By 
imposition of hands they become channels of communica 
tion between the Lord and His people, ministering to 
the people in the name of God, ministering to God on 
behalf of the people. In the one capacity they perform 
such offices as those of teaching, exhorting, blessing, 
absolving, baptizing, administering the Holy Eucharist. 
In the other capacity they lead the praises and prayers of 
the congregation, offer up its alms and oblations, and 
intercede with God in a ministerial sense for those whom 
they have in charge, as others intercede for each other as 
private Christians. This character of their office should 
also be reproduced in all their work, so that every thing 
which is done by them in their official capacity should be 
done as in the name of God on the one hand, and for the 
good oi souls on the other. 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 23 

And "who is sufficient for these things?" Very truly 
does St. Augustine say, " JNihil est in hac vita difficilius, 
laboriosius, periculosius Presbyteri vita." So difficult and 
dangerous and laborious is the labour of him who has 
thus to lead a portion of Christ s flock, and tend it on its 
way to the promised land, that he may well take up the 
words of Moses : " If Thy presence go not with me, carry us 
not up hence." Those who feel the real magnitude of the 
responsibility laid upon them by the pastoral office, will 
feel also the comfort of the thought that God s presence as 
really goes with them as it did with Moses : and the words 
spoken to a later leader of Israel may often come into their 
mind to refresh them : " Go in this thy might, and thou 
shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Ilave 

not I sent thee ? Surely I will be with thee." "We 

might indeed hesitate in undertaking the office from 
consciousness of the disproportion between its nature and 
our unworthiness and insufficiency, but that we have 
Scriptural warrant for the doctrine which I have here 
endeavoured to elucidate that " our sufficiency is of God, 
who hath made us able ministers of the New Testament." 
In the conviction that the words " Receive the Holy Ghost 
for the work of a priest " are words as true as they are 
awful, we may go to that work day by day in the conscious 
ness that we are "workers together with God" through 
His grace bestowed upon us for the purpose of His work 8 . 

8 Clerical meetings have sometimes been held, the object of which was to 
pray for an outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon the ministry of the Church. 
Was sufficient faith shown, by those who met, in the outpouring which God 
has already vouchsafed them ? 



24 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

And it must bo the endeavour of every clergyman to stir 
up (avaZtWirvptiv] the gift of God that is in him by the 
laying on of hands, that he may go forth continually in 
the strength of the Lord God, to do as a humble repre 
sentative of the Chief Shepherd, the work of a faithful, 
grace-endowed, and fully commissioned pastor in the midst 
of His flock that is scattered abroad. " As My Father hath 
sent Me," said the Good Shepherd, "even so send I you." 



A few words may be fitting, as a sequel to the foregoing, 
on what may be called the secular phase of a clergyman s 
spiritual ministrations ; the comforts and discomforts which 
belong to his office, and respecting which much exagge 
rated language is sometimes used. We may take up a 
book on the Christian ministry and find at one end an 
allegation that no conscientious mind can expect temporal 
ease and comfort, or any thing but a daily cross in the 
pursuit of pastoral duties. At the other end of the same 
book we may find allegations equally strong that a clergy 
man whose work does not make him very happy must have 
something radically wrong about him. The real truth 
does not lie in either of these extremes. There is much 
that is pleasant in the life of a clergyman, faithful and 
hard-working as I of course presuppose him to be, and 
much which brings pain and discomfort, especially in the 
later life of poor beneficed and unbeneficed men. As St. 
Jerome says of the text, " He that desireth the office of a 
bishop desireth a good work," Opus, non dignitatem, 
laborem, non (telicias, so certainly he who undertakes pas- 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 25 

toral work, whether in a crowded town or an agricultural 
village, must undertake it with his eye set firmly on the 
labours and anxieties which will belong to his position : 
and he must unflinchingly buckle on his armour with a 
prayer that he may seek nothing but the glory of the 
Master in whose service he is enlisted, and the unwearying 
guidance of the souls given into his care. 

But there is much to alleviate this burden of toil and 
responsibility. In the course of his work the faithful 
pastor will hardly fail to see something at least of success 
attending his labours. He will be able to point to souls 
converted or strengthened by his ministrations, to comfort 
given to the aged, and instruction to the young. He will 
be able to reckon up many who by his hands have been 
made members of Christ, many who have been fed with 
heavenly food in the Holy Sacrament that he has been 
privileged to administer to them. He can point to some 
work in his parish which has promoted the glory of God, 
a church restored, a school built, extra services established, 
a larger congregation gathered, an increased proportion of 
religious persons in the parish. And as professional success 
in any other career would bring its own reward to the 
mind, so, and much more, does it do so in that profession 
which is concerned with so great and solemn a responsi 
bility. It is unfair not to set this laudable satisfaction 
which a diligent clergyman feels at the success of his 
ministry as a balance against the amount of toil, anxiety, 
discouragement, and vexation for which he is liable. 

Apart from these spiritual alleviations of the ministerial 
burden, it is also fair to reckon the advantages of good 



26 THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 

position which belong to the clerical office, and of that 
universal esteem and respect which are accorded to any 
one who occupies it in a faithful manner. Nor least of all 
is that comfort of a life endowment to which the beneficed 
clergy are able to look, the smallness of which is fre 
quently compensated for by its certainty. 

Altogether it must be allowed that there is much pro 
mise of the life that now is, as well as of the life which 
is to come, in the career of a conscientious beneficed clergy 
man. And, provided his benefice is such that with the 
simple habits which befit the clerical life, he is saved from 
the torture of the res angusta domi, it may probably be 
reckoned as one of the happiest careers that can fall to the 
lot of a working man, though his anxieties be great and 
his labours severe. There- is no other calling in which a 
man s professional labours, those by which he gains his 
livelihood, are of such a nature that they can be regis 
tered in the courts of heaven as essentially works redound 
ing to the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The 
reading and study of Holy Scripture, the constant service 
of God in the sanctuary, the frequent communions, are all 
means of grace calculated to lead him forward in holiness, 
and build him up in Christ. The ministrations to the 
poor, with the many charities of life called out by the 
ministerial office, are such as if pursued in a holy spirit 
cannot fail to be most acceptable to Him whose words 
will be, " Forasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these 
My brethren, ye did it unto Me." The highest aspirations 
of saints have, indeed, been to lead such a life as the 
faithful pastor leads by the mere diligent attention to his 



THE NATURE OF THE PASTORAL OFFICE. 27 

professional duties ; and spiritual advantages so conducive 
to personal religion cannot be overvalued. 

And if, after all, it is said that excepting the result of 
definite official acts, there is really very little fruit to be 
seen of all a pastor s labours, let it be remembered that 
this is, more or less, a consequence which must follow from 
the very nature of his work. In other professions a man 
may be able to see every thing, his work, the result of it, 
and the path by which the result was attained. But in 
other professions men are dealing with the things of a 
visible world : the pastor deals with those of a world 
unseen. There may be a large amount of real solid results 
which will never show themselves before the day when all 
hidden things will be brought to the light. Reserve on 
one side, want of penetration on the other ; the uncertainty 
which must ever surround our knowledge of another 
person s spiritual condition; all this will form a veil 
between the pastor s work and the results following it, and 
it is hopeless for him to try and draw that veil aside. 
Let him submit to its presence as part of his discipline, 
and work on with steady cheerfulness in the certainty 
that God is working with him, and that he is helping to 
build up a fabric whose true solidity will only be fully 
revealed when all other work of man has passed away like 
a summer cloud. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

WHEN the external framework of our being first came 
forth from the hands of its Maker, lie breathed into 
man s nostrils the breath of life, and that exterior frame 
work was henceforth inhabited by a living soul, a partaker 
of that " spirit " which, after its allotted time of sojourn, 
again " returns " to God who gave it. This principle of 
life is undiscoverable by the keenest penetration of science, 
and yet it is the source of all man s mental and physical 
power, being so because it is a Divine principle. Hence 
human nature is brought into so mysteriously near a 
relation to God, even by creation, that the life of man 
is sacred. God requires it at the hand of every man, his 
own life and his brother s, as a treasure confided tem 
porarily to his keeping, for which he must render an 
account to Him who has thus endowed him with it. If 
we were to follow up the detail of this accountability, 
we should see how it extends to all the voluntary acts 
of our nature, which derive their power from the life 
which enables us to perform them. And hence the ques 
tion, How does a man live, well or ill ? is really equivalent 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 29 

to the question, How does he use the life which God has 
entrusted to his care and stewardship ? 

Doubtless there is a very close analogy be 
tween the Divine gift of physical life, and the Analo ey bc - 

r * tween the 

Divine gift of spiritual life ; and it would be a ? ift f the 

Holy Ghost 

not unprofitable labour to trace out that ana- and God s 
logy in its various ramifications. But my furanife 1 " 
present object is to use it as an illustration of 
the position in which the recipient of the grace of God 
for ministerial purposes is placed with reference to the 
Bestower of it, and not to deal with the question as it 
belongs to the kingdom of grace at large. 

As I have already shown in the preceding chapter, 
the pastoral ofiice is a delegation from the Good Shepherd 
Himself; and a delegation, not only in the sense of a 
commission to do certain work for Him by means of na 
tural powers, but also in the sense of a conveyance to the 
person commissioned of some of the spiritual ability or 
power to do those things of which the Good Shepherd 
Himself is the inexhaustible fountain. Regarding the 
minister of Christ as a steward, it is to be understood that 
property is placed at his disposal, out of which he is to 
maintain the household ; as a soldier, he is sent forth by 
royal authority, and with arms in his hand. 

That, then, which the principle of life is to human 
nature the grace of ordination is to the Christian ministry. 
It is a Divine gift which no eye can see, but which yet 
endows him who receives it with a capacity for action 
that he could not otherwise possess. Being Divine, this 
gift brings the receiver of it into a mysteriously close 



30 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

relation to Him who bestows it. And being a gift only 
in the sense of an endowment, it entails upon the possessor 
the responsibility of stewardship, so that when God shall 
take His own back again, He may receive with it the 
usury earned by a faithful and diligent servant. 

Following up, then, into some detail the consequences 
which flow from the bestowal of this gift of ministerial 
capacity (the arterial life, if I may use such an expression, 
of the Church Militant), it will now be my object to show 
the relation in which the human pastor is placed to the 
Divine, first, in respect to the nature of his office ; secondly, 
as to the responsibilities thrown upon him ; and thirdly, 
as to the practical duties flowing from these responsi 
bilities. 

. Results of the official relation. 
The pastoral ofiice being a delegation from 
authority! the Chief Shepherd, authority to act in the 
name of God belongs essentially to its nature. 
The image of God in Adam was the instrumental cause 
of his sovereignty over the things of the visible world. 
Moses was sent forth to his work with so complete a dele 
gation of Divine authority that the Lord Himself said to 
him, " Thou shalt be to Aaron instead of God : " " See, 
I have made thee a god unto Pharaoh V The prophets 

1 It is very observable that our Lord s well-known reference to the 
eighty -sixth Psalm, " I have said, yc are gods," which appears to be founded 
on this incident in the intercourse of Moses with God, occurs in immediate 
connexion with His discourse on the Pastoral Office ; "If He called them 
gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot bo 
broken." St. John x. 35. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 31 

of the old dispensation ever went forth with " Thus saith 
the Lord," unhesitatingly, on their lips. The Evangelists 
and Apostles were sent in the name of Christ to preach 
the glad tidings of salvation in Him, and to cast out 
devils who were opposing His progress to the hearts of 
men ; and the Church could say, for several years after 
our Lord s ascension as well as before, "In Thy Name 
have we done many wonderful works." Looking, then, 
at such illustrations as these, which are given in the Holy 
Scriptures, of the results which followed upon a delegation 
of authority by God to man, it seems difficult to attach too 
high an importance to those acts which are done by the 
Christian ministry when it goes forth among Christ s 
flock, commissioned to do them in His Name, the Name 
of Christ and of God. Indeed, it seems more probable 
that the clergy themselves may be in danger of attaching 
too little consequence to what they do as the deputies of 
Christ ; and that they may say and do things officially 
without sufficient thought of the real spiritual bearing 
which their words and deeds may have towards others. 
The necessity of " intention " towards the efficacy of minis 
terial acts and words is no doctrine of the Church of 
England. It may be that the comparatively heedless 
words of a pastor may fall with a spiritual weight, as 
regards those to whom, or on whose behalf they are 
uttered, which will not be revealed until the results are 
laid open to view at the day of judgment. 

A faithful appreciation of the authority with which his 
ministerial words and actions are endowed, is therefore 
an essential element in the formation of a good pastor; 



32 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TQ GOD. 

and a humble, self- annihilating reliance on that authority 
will often stand him in good stead when all "influence" 
derived from lower sources would prove utterly valueless. 
He must endeavour to sink his own personality in that 
of his Master, whose he is, and whose work he is doing, 
and try to say with the Apostle, "I can do all things 
through Christ, which strengtheneth me." "What folly, 
as well as sin, would it have been in the Apostles for 
them to have gone out to their work of healing the sick, 
casting out devils, proclaiming "the kingdom of God is 
at hand," if they had gone regardless of the fact that they 
went in the name of Christ; and how analogous to the 
sin of Moses, when he said, "Must ice fetch you water 
out of the stony rock ?" Very nearly akin to such sin and 
folly must be that of men who are sent forth as the 
pastors of Christ, the Chief Shepherd, and yet fail to 
realize the fact that their official words and acts, whether 
they will or no, bear the impress of His authority. On 
the other hand, very real and solid will his work seem 
to the clergyman who constantly goes about it under the 
influence of such convictions as his Master s words give 
him a right to, " Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, 
Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, 
your peace shall rest upon it ; if not, it shall turn to you 
again." " "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My 
Name, I will give it unto you." " "Whatsoever ye shall 
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever 
ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven "." Very 

2 The reality of the pastoral office would be more perfectly appreciated, 
if it were always remembered that some of our Lord s most precious pro- 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD 33 

important must all the official acts and words of that 
office be, of some of which our Lord could thus speak ; 
and very necessary it is that every pastor should have 
a clear apprehension of the fact that God ratifies the work 
of His ministers to an extent of which man may not 
proudly pretend to define the limits. 

The sacred gift of the Holy Ghost also en 
dows a pastor with a capacity, faculty, or ^kg**^ 

* * * power or ca- 

power in ministerial acts of a more definite pacity for 
character than those to which I have princi- action. 
pally referred in the preceding paragraphs ; 
so that, whether in their relation to God or to the souls of 
men, those acts have an efficiency which does not belong 
to them irrespectively of the gift. I have already quoted, 
at page 12, a lucid and outspoken passage from the vener 
able Hooker on this point, which more than justifies the 
definite language I am using ; but the common sense of 
the world as clearly acknowledges that such a capacity 
is vested in the clergy. No one, for example, would doubt 
that a solemn benediction in the words of the Communion 
Service, pronounced by a bishop or a priest, is of more 
value to the souls of those over whom it is uttered than 
the same words would be if pronounced by a mere layman 3 . 
Again, it would shock the majority of serious minded 
persons in any intelligent circle of society, if a layman 

mises, as those contained in several chapters of St. John, were primarily, 
at least, addressed to the Apostles in their pastoral capacity, and not as 
ordinary disciples. 

3 Many would feel this who yet hold much lower notions respecting 
ordination than those authorized in the Prayer Book. 

D 



34 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

were to go through the form of consecrating the Holy 
Eucharist; and this feeling would spring not only from 
the knowledge that such an act was a flagrant trans 
gression of Church customs and law, but also from a 
sense, more or less defined, that it was an unreality, a 
profane imitation of an external rite from which no in 
ward grace was to be expected. 

A strong conviction of this on the part of the pastor 
would not only give him a deep sense of responsibility, but 
would also strengthen his perception of the reality be 
longing to his office. He would regard himself as in 
continual contact with the unseen world ; engaged with 
the things of God, in respect to which sacrilege is a 
comparatively easy sin ; as in a very close communion 
official communion with Christ, which necessitates greater 
personal holiness, if possible, than the relation between 
ordinary Christians and their Head. 

The doubts and hesitations by which many minds are 
perplexed in these days would be banished by a full and 
simple consideration of this principle. A minister of the 
Church of England who has no belief in a supra-natural 
system of grace must indeed hesitate and doubt as to the 
use of the formularies to which he is bound ; and his only 
mode of escape is to explain away the solemn words 
which he has to take continually upon his lips. When 
he has done so, I do not see how a conscientious person 
can feel satisfied in the continued use of "explained 
away" formularies. One must surely long to use them 
in their simple meaning ; and no difficulty will be found 
in doing so if they are recognized as a part of a system 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 35 

in which ministerial acts and words have a power derived 
from God, as well as an outward form. Many mistakes 
are made through a partial and incomplete apprehension 
of this great truth. One hears phrases about the re 
generation of children by Holy Baptism, the reality of 
the gift bestowed in the Holy Communion, the forgive 
ness of sins in Absolution, which leave many minds open 
to an impression that the priest is supposed to effect the 
regeneration, reality, or forgiveness ; but such phrases 
will have no place in the vocabulary of a clergyman, 
or a layman either, who thoroughly recognizes the re 
lation between the human pastors and the One Divine. 
Whatever is the spiritual effect of words or actions 
that are used by the ministers of God, that effect is 
produced by God alone ; and the minister of God can 
no more be said to produce these results than the 
conduit which conveys water from the mountain spring 
to the lips of the drinker can be said to quench his 
thirst. 

Let me pause for a moment to illustrate this point more 
fully, in connexion with a portion of the ministerial 
power claimed and exercised in the Church of England, 
which has had a prominent place in modern discussions 
upon the question now in hand. 

When the Pharisees said, " Who can forgive 
sins, but God only ?" our Lord did not reply illustrated 
that man could forgive them when authorized ^ n absolu- 
by God, but led them to look to His own person 
as the source of all such power under the mediatorial sys 
tem and dispensation. He wrought a miracle to show 

D 2 



36 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

them that "the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive 
sins," because He carries in His own Divine person the 
power of the Almighty, not ministerially, but essentially. 
It was perfectly true that man could not forgive sins, but 
God only 4 , and yet the Jews had long been familiar 
with a sacrificial system, in which the priests of the 
temple were used by God as the means by which to 
convey His forgiveness to men. The Lord Jesus revealed 
Himself as now exercising in a new form, without the 
intervention of any typical sacrifice, the Divine Power 
of the forgiveness of sins. Afterwards He caused this 
power to flow from Himself as the newly revealed 
fountain head, through the channel of Apostolic minis 
trations, when He gave to the ten Apostles assembled 
on the day of His resurrection, the primary commission of 
the Church. " As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I 
you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, 
and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost : Whose 
soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them : and 
whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained V It still 
remained a fact, as it ever will remain, that none can 
forgive sins but God only : so that these words must 
be interpreted in the sense indicated by our Lord s 
previous words on binding and loosing, viz. that what 
the Apostles did in their ministerial office, had pOAver 

* Some sentences of this kind are, however, taken up by those who use 
them, as if they were the words of God, instead of being quotations inserted 
therein from the sayings of those who were opposing our Lord. When 
Satan used Holy Scripture against our Lord, he used it in such a way as to 
disguise a fallacy in the garb of the words of truth. 

* St. John xx. 21. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 37 

towards the souls of men, because though done by men 
on earth, it was done by those who were acting as the 
deputies of the Chief Shepherd, and would be, nothing 
hindering, ratified by God in heaven. 

Now the very words used by our Lord to the Apostles 
are taken up by the Church, and put into the mouth 
of every bishop every time that he ordains any to go 
forth and do his Master s work : and what I have already 
said of the words of ordination must be here repeated, 
viz. that if they are not true there is only one alternative, 
they must be untrue ; and if they are untrue, they are 
words of such solemn import and origin, that the untrue 
use of them must be blasphemous. But the application 
of them by the Church of England in the Ordination Ser 
vice, and also in the office which the pastor is directed to 
use in his Visitation of the Sick, (if required,) is so direct 
as to put this alternative beyond the reach of any humble- 
minded Christian who considers the weight of authority 
which has accumulated upon that application by continuous 
use for centuries by the holiest of men. And we must 
conclude that the boldness of the Church in assuming the 
Divine words, and thus applying them, is a guide to the 
individual pastor as to the sense in which he is to regard 
his own official ministrations. 

Such a sense will amount to a thorough dependence 
upon God for the efficacy of his ministrations : and he who 
has it, cannot have either doubt as to that efficacy, or 
haughty feelings with reference to his own "sacerdotal 
power." The forgiveness of sins (to continue to use this 
example) is utterly and entirely God s act. Whether 



38 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

the words of His minister will be ratified by Him, depends 
upon whether the free will of the person over whom they 
are uttered does or does not interpose the hindrance of 
unrepentance as a bar to the operation of Divine grace. 
If the words do convey that grace, it is because the 
person pronouncing them does so in the name of God. 
If the forgiveness is bestowed thus, it is because God 
has willed that His gifts shall flow through visible and 
audible channels so long as the invisible souls of men are 
placed in the material vehicles of their bodies for the 
purposes of their probation. 

The illustration which I have thus used may be ex 
tended by analogy to all other ministerial acts of the 
pastoral office, whether done in church at the altar, 
or, like the one referred to, in the private ministrations 
of the parish. Every pastor ought to have firm and 
unwavering faith in this grace of God given to him 
for his official work ; and should endeavour as far as 
possible to subordinate the mere personal element to 
the official in whatever he does, and in all his thoughts 
respecting it. So far as he is concerned the power 
of God conveyed by his ministrations is such that he 
cannot dissociate it from the more sacred of his functions ; 
though not so tied down to those functions that those 
to whom he ministers cannot break the connexion. If 
an impenitent soul receives the word of absolution in 
the congregation or in private, it is still God s word, 
although the impenitence of the sinner may cause it 
to return to Him void. So also in other ministerial acts, 
if the sinner himself places an impediment in the way 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO* GOD. 39 

of God s grace conveyed by those acts, the minister 
doing them is still the channel of that grace : and if he 
has done his office faithfully he has no part in the slight 
offered to it, or in the harm that results to the unfaithful 
receiver of it. 

I conceive it to be essential to the proper 

Prudence 

realization of his office, and of his relation necessary in 
to God, that the pastor should have these a bout m fhe 
"high notions," as they are often called, of ^^f* 01 ^ 

. ... . Office. 

his ministerial acts. It is also very desirable 
that his flock shoidd have a just conception of the real 
position occupied by their minister, both towards God and 
themselves, in the Christian system. A "low" opinion 
respecting the spiritual capacity of the ministry, and of 
the extent to which God in Heaven ratifies their work 
on earth, may be a real obstacle to their Christian pro 
gress. But much discretion is to be used in " preaching 
up " the pastoral office, or it may happen that those who 
entertain unworthy views of it, may be hardened in them ; 
and those who felt little respect for it before, feel less 
afterwards. I will therefore venture to add some cautions 
by way of suggestion which the reader may perhaps find 
useful as a guide to his own thoughts on the subject. 

1. It scarcely rests with young men just in holy orders 
to say much about the authority and spiritual power 
of the priesthood. It is possible they may feel strongly 
on the subject, and think they see a great necessity for 
expressing their feelings: but their neophyte position 
renders it prudent for them to restrain for a time, at least? 
that expression. 



40 THE ^RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

2. Such kind of teaching comes with the best grace from 
those who scrupulously show by their diligence, earnest 
ness, and good living, that they themselves feel that 
respect for their omce which they require others to feel. 
If a clergyman preaches wretchedly bad sermons, the 
less he says about the value of preaching, the better for 
himself and his people. An unholy priest cannot expect 
to be listened to with respect, if, in effect, he says, " See, 
here is my office, and here is my unholiness ; in spite 
of the latter, the former is efficacious." It may be true, 
but if his people did not believe the fact before he told 
them, they will hardly do so after. 

3. Great care should be used to make it clear that such 
claims are urged for the honour of God, and the good 
of souls, and not for the temporal or social exaltation 
of the clergy. Of all things pastors should avoid speaking 
as " lords over God s heritage." 

4. Let the spirit of such teaching, and even the tone in 
which it is uttered, be always that of St. Paul, " I magnify 
mine office." " God, who hath made us able ministers of 
the New Testament." " Not I, but Christ that dwelleth 
in me." 

5. Let it be seen that the pastor has at least as high a 
sense of the heavy responsibility of his office, and of his 
insufficiency for the perfect fulfilment of its duties, as he 
has of its importance and dignity. Any boasting or self- 
sufficient tone in preaching or conversation about "the 
power of the keys," e. g. is justly most offensive. If a 
clergyman thoroughly appreciates his responsibilities in 
exercising power over the souls of men, he ought to shrink 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 41 

into humbleness and self-abasement, not expand into vain- 
gloriousness and self-satisfaction. 

6. A clergyman ought to be a man of some calibre to 
put forward at all prominently the claims of the ministry. 
High-sounding claims from men of too evidently small 
capacities may be just, but they are apt to suggest satirical 
criticisms which do harm. There was nothing con 
temptible about the fishermen of Galilee, though they 

tl / V 5^ - )> 

were aypa/Ujuarot eu totwrat. 

7. Finally, to adopt the words of a modern bishop, 
"Practise this truth, so full of encouragement to your 
weakness ; use it so as to add might to your prayers ; act 
upon it as a truth in your daily ministrations ; act on it, 
not by putting forward great claims, however well founded, 
in your sermons and in your discourses, to the power 
vested in you by your undoubted succession from the 
apostles of the Lord, but by showing forth silently, noise 
lessly, and without pretension, the character which belongs 
to their successors." 

"With which words of caution I will now pass on to con 
sider another branch of the subject immediately flowing from 
the one which has occupied attention in the last few pages. 

. Official duties flowing from the relation of the Pastor to God. 

What has preceded will prepare us for looking with 
serious minds at all practical duties which flow from the 
relation existing between the human and the Divine 
Pastor : and will, I trust, have strengthened the reader in 
his conviction that, apart from any considerations of the 
clergyman s responsibility to men, there are ample reasons 



42 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

why lie should be a person who well knows what he has to 
do, and who uses his best endeavour to do it thoroughly. 
Thus, his duty towards God requires the 

Exactness in r , -i /> f 

all minis- pastor to be very exact in his perlormance of 
tenalfunc- a ^ public and private ministrations. Nicety 
in externals is sometimes slighted as if it was 
rather a dishonour than otherwise to the reality and 
spirituality of the things of God. But there is a danger 
of so slighting the externals as to be doing this very 
dishonour to the interior realities which it is wished to 
avoid. For, let it be remembered, the services of the 
sanctuary, and the whole work of those who are set apart 
to minister there and in the parish, are not framed only 
for the edification of man, but for the glory of God. The 
public services, especially, consist not only of a worship 
offered up by the soul, but also of a worship offered by the 
soul expressing itself through the body. We cannot con 
ceive of any service rendered to God by the Church in 
heaven that it will admit any admixture of slovenliness, 
or a free familiarity with the Object of adoration : and in 
the Church on earth the ministers of God should set an 
example to their people in respect to a reverent exact 
ness in all which concerns the worship offered to Him 
here. Whatever care may be required to prevent formality 
from breeding a neglect of heart religion, there is not the 
least reason to suppose that inexact and informal clergy 
men, who disregard the rites and ceremonies ordained in 
the Church of England, are at all more pious than those 
who pay strict attention to them. Nor does the Holy 
Bible, with its Divinely ordained ritual of the Old Testa- 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 43 

ment, and its Apocalyptic vision of heavenly worship, give 
us any ground for supposing that a loose, informal mode 
of adoration is more acceptable to God than one which is 
in analogy with that revealed at Sinai and Patmos. 

As then, the pastor is not a minister to man Ag m ; n j ster . 
alone, but also a minister to God; it is a duty ing to God in 

. externals as 

laid upon him by this latter relation, even well as in- 
more than by the former, to minister in all 
things as being accountable for the external parts of his 
ministration as well as for the internal. He has no right 
to act as if the importance of the latter made the former 
of no consequence : and the interior results of ministerial 
work being so entirely God s work, how indeed can the 
clergyman guard its importance if he neglects the outward 
and visible part ? how can he be a faithful steward of the 
mysteries of God ? In practice, such a principle will lead 
to an avoidance of all unseemly hurry, preoccupation, or 
carelessness, when engaged about holy work ; as. well as 
of any neglect or omission of prescribed forms. Within 
this generation I have known of a young clergyman who 
boasted that the children he baptized never made any 
noise, because he was careful not to let the water he used 
touch them. In another case I have known a young squire 
and his wife provoked into secession to Rome, in no small 
degree, by doubts as to the validity of the Holy Commu 
nion as consecrated by their vicar, even after remon 
strance, without the imposition of hands directed by the 
Prayer Book. Most of us can remember baptisms admi 
nistered from a basin placed on the Holy Table (even 
when there was a font of stone, according to law) in the 



44 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

church, hurried and mutilated performance of the Burial 
Service, and other careless or indifferent renderings of 
Prayer Book institutions. One has seen clergymen so 
wearing their official vestments as if they felt it was 
beneath them to care whether they were becoming and fit 
for the service of God ; or as if there could be no other 
reason for wearing them than because the wearer was 
ministering before men. But all such things derive an 
importance from their connexion with the relation of the 
pastor to God which they would not otherwise possess ; and 
it is not the extremest minimum of " decency and order " 
which is likely to be most acceptable to Him. 

To take another example : the faithful pastor 

Accuracy t ... 

and balance will try to be very faithful in teaching his 
people as God s mouthpiece. A suppression of 
some manifest truths, an undue exaltation of others, a dis 
tortion of revelation to make it fit in with opinion all 
this he will religiously avoid, remembering how important 
a position he is placed in when he is entrusted with the 
declaration, of his Master s will, and that it is essential he 
should be able to say, " This is my Master s word to you, 
and not only my own invention." Hence, to take an 
instance analogous to the class I have selected hitherto for 
illustration, he will lead his flock to value fully the grace 
which God bestows by visible means. If he were to dwell 
much in his discourse with them on the grace which God 
bestows by invisible channels, the pastor must necessarily 
draw largely upon human theories, his own or those of 
other men, seeing that little is said on the subject in Holy 
Scripture. And, moreover, although it has probably been 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 45 

the will of God to save many souls without a ministry, 
without sacraments, and without a written revelation, we 
have no reason to think that He will save any without these 
when His providence has placed them within their reach. 
It has been His will, indeed, at times, to convert men by 
visions of Himself, and also to keep up an immediate 
communication between Himself and human souls. But 
we are certain of this in the present dispensation, that He 
has established a mediatorial communication through the 
person of our Lord, God and man ; and that ordinary 
communion with Him is dependent upon the means or 
instruments of grace. Hence, in the " General Thanks 
giving " at Morning and Evening Prayer, we offer thanks 
to God for (1) " Thine inestimable love in the redemption 
of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ :" (2) for " the means 
of grace " by which that redemption is presented to our 
individual souls : and (3) for " the hope of glory " which 
is given to the world by redemption, and which we our 
selves have, by our personal interest in redemption, obtained 
by the means of grace. It seems especially necessary in 
our day, both for the glory of God and the good of souls, 
that while all antinomianism should be strictly guarded 
against, yet it should be constantly and unreservedly 
declared that men are saved and built up in holiness, not 
solely or chiefly even by their own efforts of moral dis 
cipline, but by God s work in the soul through the bestowal 
of grace : but, of course, this is only one illustration out of 
many that might be used, of the necessity for preserving a 
steady and Scriptural balance in our teaching : declaring 
the "whole counsel" of God, and not a part thereof, 



46 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

regarding the "analogy" of the faith, and "rightly 
dividing the word of truth." 

Another of the duties incumbent upon one 
Persevering brought into so close relation to Christ is un- 

duigence, 

flagging diligence in the work wherein he acts 
as the deputy of the Good Shepherd. I mean, here, not 
so much that kind of work which is usually in people s 
minds when they speak of a clergyman s activity, and 
which will come under notice subsequently, but rather 
that indicated by the ordination question, " Will you be 
diligent in prayers, and in reading of the Holy Scriptures, 
and in such studies as help to the knowledge of the same, 
laying aside the study of the world and the flesh ?" Nor 
is it my intention to speak of personal or private prayers 
at present, though too much could not be said of their 
necessity to the pastor in promoting his personal holiness. 
But the subject of this section makes it essential for me to 

draw the reader s attention to that diligence 
prayers 18 " 1 in official prayers which is imposed upon the 

pastor as one of the chief duties belonging to 
his position as a representative of that Chief Shepherd 
"who ever liveth to make intercession for us," His flock. 
And as it will be well to take a general survey of the con 
siderations which belong to the subject of constant official 
prayers, it will be necessary to introduce some remarks 
here which would otherwise have been more properly 
relegated to the chapter in which the pastor s relation to 
his flock is to be brought under notice. I will therefore pro 
ceed to consider the question of Daily Church Services as a 
whole, i. e. in reference to God, the pastor, and the people. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 47 

. Daily Church Services. 

1. It is due to God that a continual offering 

Tlicir rcli" 

of praise and prayer should be made to Him by tion to God. 
the Church in its official capacity as well as by 
individuals in their personal or household devotions : and 
this continual offering has been defined practically by 
"The Order for Morning and Evening Prayer, Daily 
throughout the Year," which is the title of our ordinary 
public services. This duty of the Church is fulfilled in its 
primary degree by the Cathedrals, each of which re 
presents the centre from which Divine worship radiates 
around, as the bishop represents the centre of pastoral 
responsibility and labour. But, as the cathedral and the 
bishop are the religious centre of the diocese, so the parish 
church and the parochial clergyman are of that portion of 
the diocese which is allotted to them : and it certainly 
seems expedient and right, if not so absolutely essential as 
in the case of the cathedral, that God s honour should be 
as constantly recognized by formal acts of Divine worship 
in every parish. " Day by day we magnify Thee." 

2. This has ever been the principle on which 

the Divine worship of the Church of Eng- Enjoined by 

... the Church 

land has been founded; and a positive in- of England. 
junction on the subject is accordingly in 
serted in the beginning of the Prayer Book. The title 
of the services which I have already referred to, is ex 
panded in the previous page of the Prayer Book into 
" The Order for Morning and Evening Prayer, daily to 
be said and used throughout the year," and it is directed 



48 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

that this "Order" shall be used "in the accustomed 
place," &c. A more direct injunction is placed at the 
end of the short explanation " concerning the Service of 
the Church," which is placed after the Preface in our 
modern Prayer Books. There it is distinctly ordered that 
" the curate," or person having cure of souls, " that minis- 
tereth in every parish church or chapel, being at home, 
and not being otherwise reasonably hindered, shall say 
the " Morning and Evening Prayer " in the parish church 
or chapel where he ministereth, and shall cause a bell to 
be tolled thereunto a convenient time before he begin, 
that the people may come to hear God s Word, and to 
pray with him." This law of the Church of England 
is so clear and express that it is strange to find how 
generally it has been set aside by custom 6 . Yet the 
practice has been continuously recognized as a 
holy clergy- matter of course by many excellent clergymen 
mnat aU in every generation. When Bishop Wilson 



was ordained deacon, in 1686, he received a 
paper of advice from Archdeacon Hewitson, in which he 
is enjoined "never to miss the Church s public devotions 
twice a day, when unavoidable business, want of health, 
or of a church, as in travelling, does not hinder." Among 



Five and twenty years ago there were only three parish churches in 
England in which the Morning and Evening Prayer were both said daily 
throughout the year. At the present time there are thirty-six such 
churches in London alone, besides twenty -eight others, in which one of the 
services is used daily. There are about one thousand churches opened daily 
for public prayer throughout England; and the practical value of the 
custom is shown by the continual increase in number of the clergy who 
adopt it. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 49 

Archbishop Sancroft s MSS., in the Bodleian Library, 
I have observed a letter from Dr. Grenville, when Arch 
deacon of Durham, urging the necessity for a general 
revival of " daily prayers in parish churches, and weekly 
communion, at least, in cathedrals;" the latter of which 
customs was indeed restored mainly by Dean Grenville s 
exertions 7 . Good Archdeacon Basire also, when he was 
making a calendar for the division of his time after his 
return from exile in 1670, set out : 

"Residence at Stanhope, above 3 moneths. 100 days. 
Residence at Eaglescliffe, 3 moneths. 90 days. 

Dayly publick prayers, and constant sermons, in both 

every Sunday and Holy Day V 

Somewhat earlier than this we read of Ferrar, in 1630, 
that "he being accompanied with most of his family, 
did himself use to read the common prayers (for he was 
a deacon) every day, at the appointed hours of ten and 
four, in the parish church V And good George Herbert s 
own practice " was to appear constantly with his wife and 
three nieces (the daughters of a deceased sister), and his 
whole family, twice every day at the church prayers, in 
the chapel which does almost join to his parsonage-house l ." 
Later on we find Bishop Patrick (16911707) a great 
advocate for the same habit; and also Bishop Lany of 
Ely (1667 1675), who writes, "Our service is a con- 

7 There is a very interesting collection of Dean Grenville s MSS., which 
was discovered in the Bodleian, in 1860, and has not yet been published, 
in which there is much correspondence on the subject. 

8 See Surtees Society s Life of Basire. 

9 Herbert s Remains, vol. i. p. 65. Ibid. p. 55. 

E 



50 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

timral daily sacrifice, a morning and evening prayer ; and 
though the greatest benefit of this belongs to those that 
daily attend it, yet being it is the public sacrifice of the 
Church, all that are members of that have their part and 
interest in it, though they be absent, yet not in an equal 
measure. The present are intituled to the benefit of a 
sacrifice offered by them ; the absent, as a sacrifice offered 
for them. For this is our eternum sacrificium, that is per 
petually burning upon the altar for the service of God, 
and in behalf of every member of the Church, that doth 
not ponere obicem, set a bar upon himself, by his wilful 
neglect of it, or by his opposition to it." Very similar 
was the Charge given by Bishop Hooper, of Bath and 
Wells, to his clergy some forty years later; and many 
references to the practice are to be found in other 
charges of that date. There is, too, an old "Letter of 
Advice to all the Members of the Church of England to 
come to the Divine Service, Morning and Evening, every 
day," of the date 1704 2 , which shows that the laity, as well 
as the clergy, knew the advantage of constant public 
prayers. " The gentlemen of Clifford s Inn," it states, 
" in the parish of St. Dunstan s in the West," set a pious 
example to the public in their constant attendance at the 
daily prayers of the Church ; and ten years later, in 1714, 
when the population of the metropolis was about one-sixth 
of what it now is, there were seventy- five churches open 
daily for divine service 3 . It was, probably, when the 

2 There is an original copy in Cambridge Public Library, B 6 9 41 ; 
but it has been rcpublished recently. 

3 With its modern three millions of people London has only sixty-four 
churches open daily. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 51 

custom of daily prayer was beginning to die out of our 
parishes that Dr. William Best wrote, and the Christian 
Knowledge Society published, his excellent "Essay on 
the Service of the Church of England considered as a 
Daily Service," which is still on the list of that Society s 
publications. I have put together these few instances 
of regard for the practice to show that good men at all 
times have considered Daily Divine Service to be the 
rule of the Church of England ; and few as they are they 
offer indications (which might be much multiplied) that it 
was more commonly used than it has been of late years 
by the pious clergy 4 . 

3. Which leads me to observe that it is most probable 
many of our pious clergy in the present day have failed 
sufficiently to consider this law of the Church as intended 
partly for their own spiritual advantage in their work as 
pastors of Christ s flock. That such an ad- 

Thcir spin- 
Vantage is supposed by the Church is evident tual value to 

from the paragraph which precedes the rule or 
law I have already quoted from the Introductory part of 
the Prayer Book, "And all priests and deacons are to 
say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer, either 
privately or openly, not being let by sickness, or some 
other urgent cause." This paragraph enjoins the daily 
service of the Church as a duty on the clergy, as the one 
which we have previously had under consideration pro 
vides for the people having the full benefit of it. Bishop 



4 There are many endowments for daily service scattered over the 
country. The money is too often received, and the duty neglected. 

E 2 



52 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

Cosin writes on this paragraph, " We are also bound . . . 
daily to repeat and say the public service of the Church. 
And it is a precept the most useful and necessary of any 
others that belong to the ministers of God, and such as 
have the cure of other men s souls ;" and most writers on 
the Prayer Book have considered this rule to be strictly 
binding on the clergy 5 . The advantages of the practice, 

5 I will repeat here an opinion which I have elsewhere ventured to ex 
press, that the clergy are not bound by this injunction to a solitary 
recitation of the service in their own studies, if there is not public service 
in Church. The provisions respecting the daily service are three : 

(1) If said privately, it may be said in any language understood by 

those who say it. 

All the clergy are to say it privately or openly, if not lawfully 

hindered. 

It is to be said in every parish church or chapel, by every clergyman 

having cure of souls. 

The second and third of these provisions were not printed in the first 
English Prayer Book, but instead of them there was this clause, that no 
man shall be bound to the saying of daily prayers, " but such as, from time 
to time, in cathedral and collegiate churches, parish churches and chapels, 
to the same annexed, shall serve the congregation." In 1541 there was 
issued " An Explanation of Ceremonies to be used in the Church of Eng 
land," in which it is said, "It is laudable and convenient, that (except 
sickness, or any other reasonable impediment, or let) every bishop, priest, 
and others having orders, and continuing in their administration, shall daily 
say divine service ; . . . . and such as are bishops and priests, divers times 
to say mass." Now, in 1541 solitary masses had certainly been abolished, 
so that the " mass," here enjoined, must mean the holy communion of the 
Reformed Church, celebrated and administered in public; and the "daily 
divine service " is plainly put on the same footing. 

The word "privately" was introduced into the second English edition 
of the Prayer Book, and appears to refer to the first of the three provisions 
above quoted. From the history of these provisions, then, it appears to 
me that the word does not refer to a solitary recitation of a responsive 
service ; and that it probably does refer to the use of the Prayer Book in 
college and domestic chapels, which were then very numerous. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 53 

of which I am here writing more than of the obligation, 
are only to be learned perfectly by experience ; but I will 
suggest some of them as they have appeared to myself, 
and as I have known them to be felt by others. 

It is no small benefit to the pastor that he may thus 
come into God s house before he begins the responsible 
duties of the day to lay a foundation for them in the strong 
ground of the authorized service of the sanctuary : or 
again, that when those duties of the day are over he may 
bring them, as it were, to the altar of God, there to offer 
them to Him by crowning them with holy worship. He 
will thus grow into a habit of seeking and finding strength 
to begin the toil of the day, and repose after its wearing 
anxieties and excitements. The constant services of God s 
house have power, more than any private home devotions, 
to form a solid and devout habit of mind in the clergy 
man, guarding him from worldliness, and stirring up in 
him, day by day, the gift of God which is in him by the 
laying on of hands. They offer a constant and prevailing 
means of intercession for his flock, and the Church at 
large. While individual persons of his charge will need 
special prayer, in these he offers his general supplications 
for all : and in a town parish of great extent how much 
comfort may the hardest-working clergyman feel from 
thus bringing day by day before God in something more 
than his personal prayers, all those who are under his 
charge, but whom he tries in vain, from their very 
numbers, to know. Nor is it of small importance that in 
the midst of that isolation from his brethren which is 
almost the necessary consequence of diligent work in a 



54 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

parish, these constant prayers give to a clergyman a deep 
sense of spiritual union with the rest of the Church, which 
goes far to counteract it. Lastly, a constant use of the 
daily services deepens the clergyman s knowledge and 
spiritual understanding of Holy Scripture, and of the 
principles of the Church in which he ministers to God and 
men : and thus puts the keystone to his daily studies as 
well as to his daily pastoral labours in the streets and lanes 
of his parish. The varied combination of Lesson and 
Psalm often opens out Divine truth in a marvellous 
manner ; and by their repetition month after month, the 
Psalms, especially, are ingrained into the pastor s mind 
for use in sermons and private ministrations with a force 
that can hardly otherwise be gained : so that he is led to 
enter thoroughly into that devotional application of them 
which has caused the Psalms to be taken as the central 
pillar of a worship acceptable to God and good for the 
souls of men for nearly three thousand years. Thus, 
besides his own spiritual advantage, the pastor will bo 
continually under training, as it may be said, by the ser 
vices of the Church, to fit him for the effectual discharge 
of his duties. 

T , . , . . 4. Moreover, as this constant official dili- 
tual value to gence in prayers is of advantage to the flock 

the flock. . I, -IT ,.,. . 

indirectly through the grace which it gams lor 
their pastor, so will it always be found to be of practical 
benefit to the parish in a more direct manner. The very 
sound of the church bells morning and evening is a warn 
ing voice to remind men that religion should have a place 
in daily life. Very much of the work of the Church con- 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 55 

sists of this persistent warning to men, "whether they 
will hear or whether they will forbear," that their souls 
and bodies are part of the kingdom of God in which they 
have duties to do, and in which they will find grace, if 
they seek it, whereby those duties may be done. The 
Church cannot relieve men of their individual respon 
sibility, but day by day her warning voice goes forth 
to them, bidding each conscience to remember that there is 
a work of God as well as a work of man to be accomplished 
every day. And although, at first, there may be some 
who will sneeringly vent their vexation at such warnings, 
and say, " Your church bells are continually clanging," it 
will not be long before they learn to respect the summons, 
though unable or unwilling to attend the service 6 : 

" And many a Christian heart o er whom the strain 

At matins or at evensong is falling, 
Gives back within its own cahn depths again 
A holier echo for love s voice is calling." 

As, too, the persistent public devotion of the Church 
in the midst of the world is a warning to the parish, so I 
cannot but think that it is a channel by which the secular 
work of that parish is, so far as it is good, offered to God 
day by day, and His presence drawn down to sanctify the 
camp by its manifestation in the tabernacle. 

5. As far as my experience of four parishes goes, and 
my observation of many others in both towns and villages, 
there will always be some few persons to form a congrega- 

6 See some practical remarks on the use of a peal of bells for Daily and 
Sunday Services in the Appendix B. 



56 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

tion. As many as possible of the clergyman s household 
will, at least, be there to use the daily prayers of the 
sanctuary instead of those breakfast- table devotions which 
have come to be an easy substitute for them 7 . To mention 
good George Herbert again, his biographer Isaac Walton 
says that not only his own family used constantly to 
accompany him to the Church prayers, but " he brought 
most of his parishioners and many gentlemen in the 
neighbourhood constantly to make part of his congregation 
twice a day : and some of the meaner sort of his parish 
did so love and reverence Mr. Herbert that they would let 
their plough rest when Mr. Herbert s saints bell rung to 
prayers, that they might also offer their devotions to God 
with him ; and then return back to their plough 8 ." In 
these days, ploughs, hammers, and shuttles work too un 
ceasingly for labourers and artisans to follow the example 
of the ploughmen of the 17th century, but there are many 
persons of quite as much leisure in our time as in George 
Herbert s who both can and will find time to attend. 
Professional men and others in London are constantly to 
be seen at the early daily service at Westminster Abbey, 
at the Temple Church, and at some parish churches : and 

T It is worthy of observation tbat all collections of family prayers which 
are not compiled by actual dissenters, derive their inspiration from the 
Prayer Book. 

8 Herbert s Life and Works, vol. i. p. 56. At a much later period, the 
same thing is recorded of another parish. Whitfield was for a short time 
curate of Dummer in Hampshire during the absence of the rector, and he 
found among other illustrations of pastoral diligence, that the children were 
daily catechised, and that young and old daily attended public prayers in 
the morning before going to work, and hi the evening on returning from it. 
This was in 1736. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 57 

there are aged and infirm people every where, both in 
town and country, to whom continual attendance is a habit 
which brings them comfort and grace 9 . I have known 
an official gentleman for many years whose constant custom 
it has been to take the morning prayers on his way to the 
railway station whence he travelled ten miles, from one 
north country town to another where his daily business 
was waiting for him. At the same service every day 
might be seen a lady about ninety years of age, who used 
to walk from her house, nearly a mile distant, with the 
most unfailing punctuality day after day to her pew in 
the gallery. The same regular attendance may often be 
observed in country villages : and I think many clergymen 
who have gained practical experience in this matter will 
corroborate the assertion that a punctual service will never 
fail in finding at the least two or three met together in 
the name of Christ to offer up to God their daily praises 
and prayers. Of the attendance of children I have spoken 
in the chapter on schools, and will only say here, that it 
has been found to produce very happy results both in some 
who have been early taken to their rest, and in others who 
have grown up in grace to maturer years. 

One or two objections to daily service, which 

Some objec- 
have not been met by the course of my pleading tions an- 

in its favour, may be considered before parting 
with the subject. 

9 There is an old world proverb " After the longest day comes Evensong," 
a version of "Man goeth forth to his work and to his labour until the 
evening:." 



58 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOtt TO GOD. 

First, there is its length, and the time that is conse 
quently occupied l . At the utmost this need not exceed 
three-quarters of an hour, and that length will only be 
reached by a rather slow choral service, or very slow 
reading. If the time taken up is ordinarily within half 
an hour, it will be sufficient however for a reverent and 
intelligible rendering of the service, which very slow 
reading seldom is. But there is room for doubt, whether 
it was ever intended that a daily parochial service should 
consist of all the prayers that are used. For a short time 
after the compilation of the first English Prayer Book, 
the Morning Service began with the Lord s Prayer, and 
ended with the third collect; and the Evening Prayer 
maintained this limited form until 1662, as any old Prayer 
Book will show. The present rubric requires all after 
the third collect to be said when there is an anthem, but 
not otherwise ; and the " prayers and thanksgivings upon 
several occasions " are what their name signifies, and what 
it signified more plainly when the word "occasional" 
meant only "as occasion may require," which was its 
meaning at the time the title in question was inserted. 
I cannot but think that the abbreviations thus indicated 
might be legitimately introduced with great advantage in 
many churches; and that they would enable clergymen 
to offer daily prayers to God there, who might otherwise 

1 This objection is often raised on serious grounds. Yet I have found 
in one or two villages, that an occasional five or ten minutes exposition 
of one of the Lessons was very acceptable to the congregation in the even 
ing ; and at least one week-day evening " Lecture " is looked for in town 
churches. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 59 

feel that, single-handed, such a task was beyond their 
powers ". 

It is also urged that domestic duties prevent the at 
tendance of any but the unoccupied members of a family. 
But with a good will, much of this difficulty would pass 
away. As far as the clergy are concerned, it is their 
duty to offer the service to all, and to point out the prin 
ciple laid down with respect to the attendance of the laity 
in the fifteenth Canon. 

Lastly, I have heard some of the daily lessons made an 
objection to the daily services; and I confess to having 
an insurmountable objection to reading in public, and 
before young people, some of the lessons ordered by the 
calendar. There are those who defend the calendar as it 
stands, on the ground that all Scripture is God s Word, 
and that no harm can come from the reading of that 
which is so sacred. I confess that I can see no good 
which can arise from the public reading to a congregation, 
composed principally perhaps of young persons, of such 
lessons as Bel and the Dragon 3 , or Leviticus xviii., Deut. 
xxii., xxv., and a few other such chapters. "Whatever good 
reason there might be originally for the public use of 
these Scriptures, reasons have sprung up in later times 
why we should hesitate to speak in such language in the 
hearing of young people even in church. In certain 



2 The subject may be found dealt with at greater length, by the present 
writer, in the " Ecclesiastic," vol. xx. p. 114. 

3 It is a fact that a man was once sent into a fit of loud and uncon 
trollable laughter, although he was honestly preparing for holy orders, by 
hearing this lesson for the first time, in the chapel of a Theological College. 



60 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

cases, Gen. ix. and xix., the final verses are carefully ex 
cluded from Sunday reading, as is also Deut. xxiii. from 
the daily lessons, and surely the careful pastor may adopt 
the same rule on his own authority in the daily service, 
and leave out some of those Old Testament chapters in 
which things are spoken of which it is not now the 
custom to mention except with the extremest reserve 
and modesty 4 . 

I am not aware that there are any other objections 
which need to be mentioned, and will conclude my re 
marks on this subject by expressing a fervent hope that 
a habit, so calculated to give tone to a pastor s labours, 
and to sanctify them among his people, may grow more 
and more common among us, until it has become the 
practical rule, as well as the theoretical law of our Church, 
that Morning and Evening Prayer shall be said daily in 
parish churches throughout the land. 

4 To understand the immense change in this matter since the Re 
formation, one must be acquainted with the Homilies. Such portions as the 
comment on the conduct of Noah and Lot, in the Homily on Gluttony 
and Drunkenness, could not possibly be preached in these days. 

Application was once made to Bishop Blomfield, by a London clergyman 
who is now a bishop himself, for permission to substitute other chapters for 
these lessons. The Bishop of London could not officially grant that per 
mission, of course; but, no doubt, most bishops would in reality approve 
of such substitution. It is not " squeamishncss," but a consideration for 
the good of souls, which makes many clergymen of experience in the use of 
daily services feel the necessity for it, and act accordingly. I may add, 
that the omitted chapters may be balanced by taking into account those 
which are superseded on Sundays and Holydays by proper lessons. Tims, 
if February llth be a Wednesday, and Leviticus the eighteenth is to be left 
unread, if the Evening first lesson is substituted, and the following chapters 
of the calendar taken in order, the numbers of the days and chapters will 
again come together correctly on Monday the 16th. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 61 



. Diligence in Study. 

It is a too generally received dictum among the clergy 
of this active period, that a pastor who does his duty 
thoroughly in church and parish can have little or no 
time for study ; that other and higher duties press upon 
them, which demand that they should put away reading as 
soon as it is no longer necessary for the purpose of passing 
college or ordination examinations. Some even seem to 
think that study is a luxury, to which neither young 
curate nor middle-aged rector has a right, so long as there 
are souls starving around them for which they are held 
responsible. The consequence is, that we are fast train 
ing up a body of clergymen who are incompetent to 
be leaders of the laity in an age of highly developed 
intellect and widely-spread knowledge : men of the most 
superficial theological learning, who have scarcely gained 
a new idea from books since they put their college texts 
on the shelf. Hence we have so much dogmatizing, and 
so little demonstration, a characteristic of the clergy most 
haplessly unfitted for the age M T e live in. It is not 
sufficient for clergymen who have to teach a generation 
very open to scepticism till it is taught faith, that they 
should be strong in authorities gathered out of clerical 
newspapers, but very weak in those which require to be 
mined out from the foundation strata of history, and 
sound and solid theological writers. Superficiality of this 
kind is easily detected, and God s representative loses 
weight as a teacher with those who ought to sit listen- 



62 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

ing at the feet of him whose " lips should keep know 
ledge." 

It is a positive duty which every pastor owes to God, 
that he should keep himself fit by means of study, con 
stant, diligent study, for the work which is set before 
him. Hours so employed are not lost time, even when 
he is surrounded in his parish and in his church, only 
by the poor ; for a man really learned in the Scriptures 
not a mere text-learner will be able to give far more 
profitable spiritual instruction to them than one who 
draws upon the knowledge acquired in his undergraduate 
days, or upon fleeting publications, or upon sermons at so 
much a volume written for the clerical market. Shallow 
habits of reading, whether they are or are not accom 
panied by diligence in active work, must inevitably lessen 
the breadth and completeness of a clergyman s views. 
They strengthen the tendency there is among us to party 
feeling and cliqueism. Opinions are formed, not on a 
good firm ground of independent knowledge, but on the 
second-hand account which their favourite journal or 
review gives of those held by their favourite party leader, 
Dr. This, or Archdeacon That ; who have the misfortune, 
perhaps, to be set forward as " leaders " against their 
will, only because there are numbers of young clergy 
who, if they are not " led," must flounder in a theological 
slough of despond. Very miserable is this cliqueism 
among the ranks of the clergy, and a great hindrance 
to the steady, irresistible, combined progress of the 
Church in the great pastoral work of the age. Great 
party divisions can hardly be expected to cease ; but they 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 63 

do not involve a loss of charity, or of general com 
bination. It is cliqueism which really breaks up the 
bonds of charity ; and few observant men will differ from 
me when I express a strong opinion that it is produced 
in our own day by a want of original knowledge in the 
clergy, arising from the superficiality and second-hand 
character of their reading. 

Diligence in study, then, especially in a real, steady 
study of the Holy Scriptures, is necessary to the clergy, 
both with respect to their position as teachers sent by God 
to declare His truth and will, and also as a discipline and 
safeguard for themselves in an age of noisy controversy. 
By the neglect of it a pastor will become weak in his 
sermons, his bedside expositions, and his colloquial inter 
course with his parishioners ; and will possess an un 
balanced mind always ready to be carried away by every 
wind of doctrine. Much even of his hardest parish labours 
will be in vain, perhaps, through this weakness : and instead 
of his parishioners acquiring a spiritual gain by his con 
stant absence from his books that he may be present with 
them, they will suffer a positive loss by only receiving at 
their pastor s lips knowledge of the smallest value, when 
they ought to have received that which would make them 
truly wise, by giving them the truth about God, them 
selves, and the things of God s kingdom. 

Let the pastor, therefore, look upon diligent reading as 
a duty which he owes to God, as the only means by which 
he can keep his intellectual faculties ever in such a con 
dition that they may be worthily dedicated to His service. 
And let him pray with good Bishop Wilson, " Give me a 



64 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

discerning spirit, a sound judgment, and an honest and 
religious heart, that in all my studies my first aim may be 
to set forth Thy glory by setting forth the salvation of 
men." 

. Personal Holiness. 

The reader will have mistaken my intention very much, 
if he has thought that it was my purpose so to exalt the 
official practice of a pastor s duty as to leave out of sight 
the necessity of personal holiness. On the contrary, I 
believe that the warning words of the Apostle St. Paul 
ought to be endorsed on every official act of the pastor, 
" lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, 
I myself should be a castaway." In considering the re 
lation between the pastor and God, I have necessarily 
confined myself principally to those particulars in which 
it differed from the relation between ordinary Christians 
and God ; and as it has not fallen within the province of 
this work hitherto to enlarge on the necessity of Christian 
holiness in ordained Christians, so now it will only be my 
duty to point out in what manner the absence of a greater 
degree of holiness than that looked for in God s Aaoc 
becomes sinful in those who are ordained, and set apart 
as God s KArjjOoe. 

The official relation established between God and the 
pastor is, in fact, so close that it cannot be said a clergy 
man can look on himself as at any time free to act with 
the same liberty that may be lawfully used by a layman. 
It is true that the Holy Ghost is given for the work of a 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 65 

priest, and not for the purpose of personal sanctification : 
and that since, therefore, the Divine presence is vouch 
safed for the priest s official acts, the person so endowed 
only stands in exceptionally close relation to God while 
engaged in those acts. But this is a dangerous argument : 
all the more dangerous, perhaps, because of the element of 
truth which it contains. The presence-chamber of a 
sovereign would not be knowingly and wilfully used by a 
loyal subject with the same freedom as an ordinary room, 
even in the absence from it of the sovereign s person : and 
any disloyal act, even at such a time, would seem doubly 
disloyal because it was done in a place which had so close 
an occasional relation to the person whom it dishonoured. 
As, therefore, ordinary Christians have been warned from 
the first that in defiling their bodies by sin, they defile 
those " lively stones " of which the temple of the Holy 
Ghost is built up, so, much more, must it be considered 
that he to whom it has been in addition definitely said, 
" Receive the Holy Ghost," is bound by the relation thus 
established between himself and the all-holy God to regard 
himself as obliged ipso facto to a reverend and holy 
life. 

Keeping strictly, therefore, to the object of this chapter, 
it must still be concluded that personal holiness is part 
of the official duty of a pastor. Lustrations were necessary 
for those who ministered at the altar of the Temple which 
were not needed for ordinary worshippers there : and 
" keep thyself pure " was the exhortation of the Christian 
Apostle to his beloved son in the faith, the Christian bishop 
Timothy. And to His pastors, of all other men, is the 

F 



66 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO GOD. 

Good Shepherd in His immaculate holiness set forth as an 
example. 

It must be a pastor s care to guard himself against 
doing his work in such a manner that it brings no benefit 
to his own soul : to use much scrutiny, much prayer for 
himself, much self-discipline with reference to the exe 
cution of his duties ; to be in continual anxiety, that while 
God s tool is doing His work in moulding the souls of men 
for heaven, it may be sanctified by the position which it 
holds in the Almighty hand; that when its work as a 
tool is laid aside, its substance may still be of such value 
in the Master s sight, that it may be placed among His 
treasures beside the work which it has wrought. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

THE principles which I have endeavoured to elucidate 
hitherto lead on to the conclusion that the foundation of 
all pastoral work is to be laid not on earth and in human 
relations, but within the veil, before the throne of God, 
where only an anchorage sure and stedfast can be found. 
If God is the worker on whom our work is to depend, let 
us secure His operation as the very first necessity. He 
will bless activity and diligence in all the various branches 
of pastoral work, but we must take care, above all things, 
not to rely on the activity and diligence of our own efforts 
until we have made sure of that presence of the infinitely 
mightier Master- worker whose grace alone can regenerate 
and build up a parish. 

A practical recognition of this conclusion will lead us to 
look to the constant service of God, spoken of in the last 
chapter, by prayers and the Eucharistic avajuvjjertc (the 
latter of which is reserved for future mention), as the real 
ground of a pastor s own operations in his parish. The 
active-minded and energetic clergyman is under great 
temptation to self-reliance ; as if his labours in schools, 

F 2 



68 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

parochial institutions, visiting the poor, and every thing 
else of the kind which he very properly applies himself to 
with all his heart, were of high value in themselves irre 
spectively of their relation to the house of God and the 
altar. He needs to guard himself against such a tempta 
tion by often reminding himself that the spiritual value of 
all such work is to be measured by the closeness of its 
connexion with the presence of Christ, the Good Shep 
herd ; and that His presence is as certain in the Christian s 
sanctuary, as the presence of the God of Israel was in the 
Shechinah over the mercy-seat. To sanctify the camp 
then by gaining that presence, to gain it by constant 
praise, prayer, and Eucharist, is not a work separate from 
pastoral work, and the relations of a pastor to his flock, 
for which a busy clergyman may reasonably plead that he 
has no time. It is the first and most important part of 
his labours as relating to his people, the very key-stone to 
all other portions of his system : and without it all those 
various parts will sooner or later collapse from inherent 
weakness. We dig and plough and toil in vain, except 
Heaven shall send rain upon the earth. We labour fruit 
lessly among streets and lanes and schools, except we send 
up the incense of prayer from the altar of God, to draw 
down the answer of His fructifying grace. 

With these few words of preliminary safeguard we may 
now go on to consider the position of the minister of God 
as minister to God s people. 

The fundamental principles on which the 
of paftorai 1P relation between pastor and flock is founded, 
relations, are ^ Q ^ e traced to the general relation which 






THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 69 

fallen and redeemed man bears to God. Men are placed 
on probation in a state of free will, having evil and good 
external to them, which they have the power to identify 
with themselves by the grace of God on the one hand, and 
the (j>povr]fjia <Ta/oKoc on the other. But since the first Fall it 
has never been a part of God s Providence to leave men to 
their own personal and uninfluenced guidance in this state 
of trial : and since the mediatorial work of Christ has 
originated substantial " means " of grace, it has become, 
not less, but more, a part of that Providence that there 
should be agents or ministers of God to help, guide, and 
discipline them. 

Superadded to this is the human institution of andtheparo- 
the parochial system, upon the history of which chial s J" stem - 
it is not necessary to enlarge, but which may be broadly 
defined as an organization by which the souls comprised 
within a certain topographical limit are assigned to the 
special pastoral charge of one agent or minister of Christ. 
All pastoral functions centring in the bishop, and his 
diocese or TrapoiKia being too extensive to permit the per 
sonal exercise of those functions to all under his charge, 
the lower portions of those functions are committed by 
him to those to whom he officially says, " Accept this cure 
of souls, my cure and thine :" and a certain defined limit is 
assigned as a parish within which those delegated functions 
are to be exercised by the deputy pastor or parish priest. 

The human institution, then, the legal rela- T> 

Beneficial 

tion of a clergyman to his parishioners by which endowments 
his right to exercise his office is confined to them of pastoral 
alone, is closely connected with the spiritual relatlons - 



70 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

relation to the laity at large which is established by ordi 
nation : and the solemn act by which cure of souls is 
handed over to the ordained priest when he becomes a 
responsible pastor is such as to give the spiritual a decided 
preponderance over the human institution in the relation 
established. In the occupation of a benefice, living, or 
incumbency (as the terms are indifferently used), the 
clergyman s right to the " temporalities " or legal endow 
ment, is but an accident of his position, and not (as too 
often regarded) the essential part of it. But the really 
essential part is, that a relation of responsibility is esta 
blished on both sides, for which both will be accountable 
to God : a responsibility which may well make good men 
look upon their institution with feelings of prayerful awe, 
as it is said George Herbert did, and be full of anxiety 
that their conduct as " curates " of men s souls may be 
such as may, by the mercy of God, give them " boldness 
in the day of judgment." 

This principle of responsibility remains equally in force 
whether the benefice with which it is connected provides 
the holder of it with less than a bare maintenance for him 
self, or whether it be one of 2000/. a year. But 

But yet a J 

quid pro there is also another view of this responsibility, 
which, though a lower one, must not be passed 
over. Where the endowment of a living is such as to pro 
vide the pastor with ample means of sustenance, he is 
bound by the ordinary laws of honesty and honour which 
protect and govern social life to give a full equivalent for 
such provision in personal labour, and, if necessary, by the 
employment of assistants to do what is beyond the reach 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 71 

of a single clergyman s power. Non-residence can never 
become so common as it was a few generations back, but 
great liberties are still taken by the clergy in absenting 
themselves from their parishes, and there is a kind of 
non-effective residence to be found not unfrequently, which 
is almost as contrary to the spirit of the relation between 
the pastor and his flock as non-residence itself. It seems to 
be thought by some of the richer clergy that the very 
wealth of their benefices is a reason why they should not 
be " working clergy." They are often to be found living 
so much away from home, or holding so little intercourse 
with their people, that they know next to nothing of the 
individual spiritual condition of any of the souls committed 
to their charge : and the whole practical work of their 
pastorate is done by one or more assistants. The result is, 
as far as the benefice is concerned, that after deducting 
the sum paid to these assistants, and subscriptions to local 
institutions, the holder of it deals with the remainder of 
his ecclesiastical income as if it proceeded from a private 
estate in land or in the funds, instead of regarding it as a 
stipend (paid by means of tithe or other endowment) for 
labour to be given in exchange, and for an actual respon 
sibility undertaken. The minds of the laity revolt at this 
as a misapplication of church endowments; although, 
perhaps, the clergyman who thus acts is the last person in 
his parish to hear of what is said and felt on the subject. 
Nor is it to be wondered at that such a course should be 
objected to ; for without looking at the spiritual effects 
produced, it must be regarded from a secular point of 
view as a breach of contract, and in any secular 



72 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

profession it would ultimately lead to a forfeiture of tlie 
stipend. 

These two grounds, then, the first, that a cure 

Spiritual 

basis of pas- of souls has been solemnly committed to him 

tion. by the bishop on behalf and in the name of 

the Chief Shepherd ; and the second, that a 

Temporal 

basis of the contract ensues ipso facto between the beneficed 
clergyman and his parishioners, form the basis 
of the relation between a pastor and his flock : and the 
first by itself is of such a character that even if the second 
be absent the general obligation remains from the very 
nature of their relative position. 

In the present day the situation of a clergyman placed 
in the position of a pastor acting under these two con 
tracts, the spiritual and the temporal, is in some respects 
easier, and in some more difficult than it was formerly. 
It becomes very difficult in those cases where the popu 
lation has increased to so disproportionate an extent, that 
the relation between pastor and flock becomes scarcely 
more than nominal. Many anxious thoughts will come 
into the mind of a conscientious clergyman, so situated, as 
to the real extent of his responsibilities towards the un 
known hundreds, or perhaps thousands of his parish ; 
and such thoughts should take effect on his life and 
practice by leading him to use his best endeavours to 
bring the relation between himself and his people into 
such a form as is in accordance with the theory on which 
it is founded. A large and well-endowed benefice may, 
perhaps, be so divided by his exertions, that it becomes 
transformed into parishes of a manageable extent, each 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 73 

provided with a sufficient endowment ; as was done by 
Dr. Hook at Leeds in the course of his many years 
ministry tliere. Or if the benefice is a poor one, it is 
not unlikely that some of the wealthy proprietors within 
its bounds may be aroused to a sense of responsibility, 
and persuaded to provide additional clergymen. There 
are also societies in London, and local ones for most 
dioceses, whose assistance may be secured towards the 
same object. Every effort should be made to provide so 
many clergy in large and populous parishes, that there 
may be at least one to every thousand of the parishioners ; 
and efforts of a like kind to provide church accommodation 
of sufficient extent, and within easy reach of the various 
portions of the parish. In the practical working of his 
parish he will also endeavour to economize labour by 
method and arrangement, for the purpose of making it 
as far effective as possible ; for there is a great deal of 
bustling work in large parishes, and small ones too, of 
a very unproductive character, but which occupies the 
time and thoughts of clergymen to the effectual ex 
clusion of other work of a much more real and practical 
nature. 

Nor is the increase of population the only difficulty 
in the way of modern pastoral labours ; for the progress 
of education and the development of intellect have laid 
men open to the knowledge of evil as well as good ; 
and the town clergyman who really knows the subjects of 
his charge is almost sure to meet with much scepticism, 
more or less fully developed, against which it should 
be his anxious endeavour to oppose the force of Church 



74 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

teaching and influences. On the other hand, the surface 
of general morality and religion has risen to a much 
higher level than in the last or preceding centuries, so 
that open profligacy and irreligion are discouraged by 
society at large as well as by the clergy, and public 
opinion runs, to no small distance, parallel with that of 
the Church of God. 

But, whatever there may be in the condition of our 
parishes to facilitate the work of modern clergy, God 
has laid upon them a great responsibility through the 
character of the age in which they work; and every 
thoroughly efficient pastor must have his qualifications 
written in such words as "Scientia magna, niemoria 
major, judicium maximum, at industria infinita." 

. The Clergyman s bearing in dealing with his people. 

In looking to the great example of the pastoral cha 
racter, there will be found certain prominent features of 
general attractiveness which seem to indicate the pattern 
to be striven after by His servants in their dealings with 
those under their charge. These features are (1) Sym 
pathy, (2) Approachableness, (3) Readiness to help, (4) 
Condescension to infirmities. 

The expression or manifestation of sympathy 

Sympathy. , 

depends very much on constitution, some per 
sons being much more reserved than others ; but its 
presence depends chiefly upon "heart" and love. Unless 
a clergyman has heart in his work he can never engage 
in it in such a manner as to be en rapport with his people, 
either in respect to their bodily or their spiritual troubles. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 75 

But the very first essential towards winning the love of 
a flock is to be well imbued with the spirit of love for 
souls in general, and for those committed to one s charge 
in particular. A hard, dry, business-like way of doing 
pastoral work may win the respect of the people for their 
pastor, as a man desirous of doing his duty at all cost 
or inconvenience to himself; but there must be some 
manifestation of that kind of sympathy which the Good 
Shepherd showed so plainly, if the further influence which 
may be gained by the addition of love to respect is to 
be attained. It has often been observed that the strongest 
men are the most gentle and tender in handling the 
wounded on a field of battle. Something of a strong 
tenderness there should be in every pastor when he goes 
forth to work among souls wounded by the wear and 
tear of the world, by affliction, or by sin; something 
of a sympathy which conies from real heart, and has 
much power over the person exercising it, but is yet 
so far under his control that he can command the mani 
festation of it, and use it wisely for the good of those who 
need it. 

The clergyman ought also to be easily ap 
proachable by his flock, especially by the poor. a ^g^ 
He will never win the latter if he exhibits 
unwillingness to be troubled about their affairs, or is 
always in hot haste to run off to something else when 
they wish to converse with him. It is true there will 
be much that is quite superfluous in their -talk, and he 
will have to listen to many communications which are 
little connected with his work among them; but by 



76 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

lending a willing ear, and bearing with much of this 
patiently, he will often be able to get at that which really 
does concern the pastoral relation in which he stands 
towards them, and which otherwise he would probably 
never reach. Reserve in religious matters will often 
break down before such an approachable spirit on the 
part of the pastor ; but the hearts of the poor, at least, 
are almost sure to be shut up by an appearance of in 
difference or impatience in respect to their secular affairs. 
At the same time, it will be very necessary for the clergy 
man to protect himself from having valuable time frit 
tered away by mere gossip that can lead to nothing ; as 
also from giving the impression that his sympathy may 
be looked for in the secular concerns of those with whom 
he is holding pastoral intercourse, without regard to 
that which is the real object of his holding that inter 
course \ 

Great readiness to go any where, or to do 
Readiness. . 

any thing, at any time, of a pastoral nature, 

is another quality that must assist in uniting parishioners 
and their pastor heart to heart. It should be clearly 
seen by his conduct that nothing is more important to 
the latter than those ministrations to the souls of the 

1 An easily accessible room at the parsonage, where the clergyman may 
see any of his parishioners freely, is very useful. One such has come 
under my notice in a town rectory, which was to be reached by an outer 
and inner door of its own communicating directly with the public road. A 
bell at this door sounded in the room itself, and by an arrangement of wires 
the clergyman could give admission to the visitor without the intervention 
of a servant. If the outer door was closed, it was known that the rector was 
not in his study. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 77 

former with which he is entrusted. There should be no 
delay in the baptism of a dying child, or in attendance 
upon a sick person requesting his visit ; no want of 
punctuality at funerals or other occasional services ; but 
that spirit of readiness which seems to say, " See, I am 
willing, God helping me, to do my duty towards you ; let 
me entreat you in Christ s name to do your duty towards 
Him." 

Let him also carefully avoid all appearance 

. . . Condescen- 

of harshness towards infirmities of body or sion to infir- 

mind. "With sin, indeed, "Melius est cum 
severitate diligere," in the words of St. Augustine, 
"quam cum lenitate decipere;" but towards poverty, 
the weaknesses of old age or of understanding, towards 
want of resolution and perseverance, and all bodily fail 
ings, great tenderness should be shown, and a loving 
patience in bearing with them. Irritability on the part 
of the clergyman is likely to raise a barrier between him 
and those to whom it is shown, which it will perhaps be 
impossible to break down again. 

The cultivation of such a spirit in himself on the 
part of the pastor will go far towards winning for him 
the kindliest feelings on the part of the flock. Time 
and long acquaintance will probably mature these feelings 
into that deep-rooted, affectionate veneration so often 
observable in our old-fashioned English parishes, where 
the rector of twenty or thirty years standing is looked 
up to as a father by all his people during his lifetime, 
and mourned like one at his death. In Law s " Serious 
Call to the Unconverted," there is a picture of such 



78 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOft TO HIS FLOCK. 

a clergyman too valuable not to be inserted in these 
pages, although perhaps it may be well known to my 
readers. 

" Ouranius is a holy priest, full of the spirit 

Law s pic- 

ture of a of the Grospel, watching, labouring, and pray- 
or ing for a poor country village. Every soul in 
it is as dear to him as himself : and he loves them all as 
he loves himself; because he prays for them all, as often 
as he prays for himself. .... When Ouranius first en 
tered into holy orders, he had a haughtiness in his 
temper, a great contempt and disregard for all foolish 
and unreasonable people ; but he has prayed away this 
spirit, and has now the greatest tenderness for the most 
obstinate sinners ; because he is always hoping that God 
will sooner or later hear those prayers that he makes 
for their repentance. The rudeness, ill-nature, or per 
verse behaviour of any of his flock, used at first to betray 
him into impatience ; but now it raises no other passion 
in him, than a desire of being upon his knees in prayer 
to God for them. Thus have his prayers for others 
altered and amended the state of his own heart. It 
would strangely delight you to see with what spirit 
he converses, with what tenderness he reproves, with 
what affection he exhorts, and with what vigour he 
preaches ; and it is all owing to this, because he re 
proves, exhorts, and preaches to those for whom he first 
prays to God. . . . At his first coming to his little village, 
it was as disagreeable to him as a prison, and every day 
seemed too tedious to be endured in so retired a place. 
He thought his parish was too full of poor and mean 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 79 

people, that were none of them fit for the conversation of 
a gentleman. This put him upon a close application to 
his studies. lie kept much at home, writ notes on Homer 
and Plautus, and sometimes thought it hard to be called 
to pray by any poor body, when he was just in the midst 

of one of Homer s battles But now his days are so 

far from being tedious, or his parish too great a retirement, 
that he only wants more time to do that variety of good 
which his soul thirsts after. The solitude of his little 
parish is become a matter of great comfort to him, because 
he hopes that God has placed him and his flock there to 
make it their way to heaven. He can now not only con 
verse with, but gladly attend and wait upon the poorest 
kind of people. He is now daily watching over the weak 
and infirm, humbling himself to perverse, rude, ignorant 
people, wherever he can find them; and is so far from 
desiring to be considered as a gentleman, that he desires 
to be used as the servant of all ; and in the spirit of his 
Lord and Master girds himself, and is glad to kneel down 
and wash any of their feet 2 ." 

Such a picture might require some modification to 
adapt it perfectly to the age in which we now are, but 
whether the pastor be placed among the aboriginal 
labourers of a country village, or in the high-pressure intel 
lectual atmosphere of a new manufacturing district, there 
is much of the spirit here pourtrayed which he may take 
home to himself with advantage. And it is certain that 
he may ever set before himself, for adaptation to his own 

- Call to the Unconverted, p. 388. 16th Edition. 



80 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

position, the holy pattern of Him who is the Saviour 
both of town and country, and the Shepherd of intellectual 
and ignorant alike. 

> Social intercourse between Pastor and flock. 

It seldom happens that a clergyman is so situated in 
his charge that he is brought into contact only with the 
poor. In country towns and large villages, and in the 
parishes of great cities, there will be among his parishioners 
some of equal social standing with himself with whom he 
will have to hold intercourse of a social as well as a 
pastoral character. It then becomes an important ques 
tion, how far such intercourse may be carried without 
damage to his work, and what are the limits which his 
position necessarily places to it. 

As a principle which may help much to a 

The Church . , , . , . . , 

leavens the proper judgment on this subject, it may be 
set down that it is an undoubted and unmixed 
good for the world to have the Church in the midst of 
it, and by consequence the clergy ; but that on the other 
hand, it is not an unmixed good for the Church itself, or 
for the clergy. It is good for the world that it should 
have the clergy in the midst of it as a reminder of the 
world unseen with which the Church is con- 
but may cerned : but there is danger to the clergy that 

grow worldly 

by its inter- they may in a greater or less degree forsake 
the world. their primary vocation, and become "of" the 

world, as well as " in " it. 

The influence of the old classical paganism among 
people of all classes was kept up, in a large degree, by the 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 81 

intimate admixture of religion with all the affairs of life, 
and with all the places in which those affairs were trans 
acted. Sculpture and painting were seldom dissociated 
from religious ideas ; and poetry recognized them as one 
of its chief themes. All public and political acts were 
inaugurated and ratified by sacrifices : and the Penates of 
the household were a token that men believed their reli 
gion, and were not ashamed of it. Their religion was 
false, but they acted towards it as if it had been true, with 
the instinct of true men. They carried out towards a 
wrong object the very principle laid down for the Jews, 
" These words which I command thee this day, shall be in 
thine heart : and thou shalt teach them diligently unto 
thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in 
thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when 
thou liest down, and when thou risest up 3 ." 

The revival, or rather the Christian extension and 
expression of such a national and social recognition of 
religion, is much to be desired among ourselves ; and there 
are indeed many signs that there is likely to be such a 
revival. Of course the clergy can do much towards pro 
moting it ; and even when they do nothing with this 
direct object, the social necessities of their position must 
have that end, if they themselves are faithful to the spiri 
tual necessities of their position. The very , 

J The pre- 
presence of the clergy, (if they are present in a sence of the 



decorous dress, and without the yielding up of 
those minor points of conduct and carriage by licence - 



3 Deut. vi. 6, 7. 



82 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HTS FLOCK. 

which their profession and office is distinguished,) is 
often a step, by itself, towards a recognition of the pre 
sence of their Master. It may throw an air of healthy 
restraint over lawful festivities and amusements which 
may be insensible to those who are partaking of them, 
but the absence of which would be very plainly per 
ceptible to observant persons. A cheerful acquiescence in 
what is going on may be shown on many such occasions 
by the clergyman s presence, wjiich need by no means 
extend to actual participation. There is no need for the 
clergyman to have bat in hand on every cricket- field in 
his neighbourhood for the purpose of showing that the 
Church does not disapprove of manly sports : nor, on the 
other hand, need he necessarily absent himself from a ball, 
as if dancing were beyond the pale of his quiet sanction, 
as well as being an amusement which it is inexpedient for 
himself to join in. Let him not shrink from being present 
on such occasions when they come in his way without 
seeking ; but let him take care that they do not alienate 
him from his direct duties, or drag down his character to 
a lower level than it ought to maintain. The genial 
acquiescence of which I have spoken ought never to 
obscure the reality of the clergyman s office, either in his 
own mind or that of others. He should never be so 
engaged in any society that either he or the society in 
which he moves feel that there is an inconsistency in his 
appearance at God s altar on the following Sunday, or 
his presence in the pulpit as their teacher. A promiscuous 
or frequent attendance of clergymen at balls or other 
festivities of which amusement is the only object, must be, 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 83 

of course, very undesirable. In his own parish, or on 
special occasions, it may be, on the other hand, very de 
sirable. It may be expedient to remind society that it is 
Christian, even in the midst of social joys 4 ; and in the 
gayest scene, as elsewhere, the presence of the servant of 
God as such may be a strong rebuke to an excessive spirit 
of woiidliness, as it may be a visible memorial of a Master 
of all whose eye is never absent. 

The greatest safeguard to the clergyman 
himself, when he is mixing with the world in against 
society, will be a keen sense of the inalienable 
character of his office ; and a religious determination that 
if in any sense he " become all things to all men," it is 
only that he " may win some " as the minister of Christ. 
I need hardly say that a severe criticism of his motives, 
from time to time, as well as self-examination in respect to 
his conduct in society, and the effect which it is producing 
upon his mind and his work, is really necessary. If it 
is the duty of the clergyman occasionally to mingle with 
society in its hours of hilarity for the sake of leavening it 
by his presence, it may become a far higher duty for him 
to absent himself, lest he should in any way become inca 
pacitated for the proper and conscientious carrying out of 
his mission as a pastor over the flock of Christ. 

In using balls and cricket-matches as illustrations, I 



4 If the clergy had exercised a more careful oversight in respect to these 
matters, it is probable that English society might have escaped the intro 
duction of some modern and very unseemly dances. A Hindostanee gentleman 
not long ago expressed his astonishment that English fathers and mothers 
allowed all their daughters to dance like "nautch -girls." 

G 2 



84 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

have, by implication, marked out what appear to me to be 
the utmost limits to which a clergyman will find it proper 
to go in mixing himself up with the in-door or out-of-door 
amusements of society, and I will only add, further, that 
there must be much discretion used even in moving within 
those limits 5 . Concerts and dinner parties may furnish 
him with harmless relaxation, and yet if he is known as a 
constant frequenter of the one, or has the reputation of 
never declining an invitation to the other, he is sure to 
lower the spirituality of his position, and the man of God 
will be partly thrown into the background, out of sight, by 
the conspicuousness of the man of the world. 

In all that I have said on this subject, the relation of 
the pastor and his parishioners has been in my eye. Some 
may think that a more lax practice is allowable to the 
clergy when not among their parishioners ; and, accord 
ingly, it is not uncommon to find the clergyman when 
away from home putting off the external marks of his 
office and using a much greater freedom in society than he 
allows himself at home. A man must have great confi 
dence in his powers of self-discipline to venture on such 
dangerous ground ; and can have little other excuse than 
the mere desire of relaxation from a stricter life for doing 
so. I have only mentioned the subject that I may suggest 
a doubt whether a clergyman can really adopt such a 



5 Of races and theatres I know absolutely nothing by personal observa 
tion. I do not see that a clergyman can ever be called to either by his 
duties as a member of society ; and I should not suppose that any good 
would result from his presence as a clergyman, at either a theatre or a race 
course. 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 85 

course without getting into a groove when away from 
home, from the bias of which he will find it very difficult 
to free himself on his return to its duties. 

The principal object of the pastor s social 
intercourse with the upper classes of his parish- SOC J ; ^ in er _ 



ioners is, that he may thereby secure a deeper cm rse with 

parishioners. 

hold upon their kindly feelings for direct 
pastoral purposes. As he does all he can to secure the 
confidence and affection of the poor, so he ought to use 
his best endeavours to the same end with the other classes 
of his parishioners. One feels that a great 

. . , , , -IT. i Alienation 

mistake has been made by many clergymen in O f clergy 



applying all their tact, and a disproportionate ^ middl e 
share of their labour towards gaining the igno 
rant and the poor, to the alienation (by neglect) of those 
engaged in trade or professions, or occupying independent 
positions. These latter classes may have a distant respect 
for the rector who holds no social intercourse with them ; 
but they will have none of that friendliness, and almost 
affection, which it is so desirable there should be. Too 
often this alienation has arisen from pride, either pride of 
birth and social position, or pride of poverty. In the 
first case, the clergyman and his wife may feel that, but 
for the office of the former, he would never be called on 
to associate with those of the classes in question who may 
be among his parishioners. In the second case, they 
may feel that as the professional income of the clergyman 
is so small compared with his position, and with that of 
other professions, it is very unpleasant to go into society. 
In both cases the real object for which the clergyman is 



86 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

in the parish at all ought to be considered as the primary 
consideration. If the younger son of a peer is too proud 
to hold intercourse with such of his parishioners as are 
able with propriety to entertain their clergyman, he is too 
proud to be fit for his position. All his condescension to 
the poor will not make amends for his alienation of those 
who are not poor ; and though he may give a quietus to 
his conscience by means of it, he cannot thus absolve 
himself from the responsibility he has undertaken of 
caring for all classes. But a clergyman of high social 
rank may find it easier to persuade himself of such a truth 
than to persuade his wife. 

With respect to the pride which I have spoken of as 
actuating poor clergymen and their families in holding 
aloof from social intercourse with parishioners, it may be 
answered in one word, that good taste and refinement of 
mind weigh infinitely heavier in all society than wealth ; 
and that the poor vicar, or the poor vicar s wife, will 
generally be able to hold their own, (by means of such 
qualities,) in any house, however wealthy, to which duty 
may require them to go. It is almost superfluous to 
add that the remarks already made, as to the responsi 
bility resting upon the pastor with reference to all classes 
of his flock, are as applicable in this case as in the 
former. 

The poverty which many clergymen have to 
endure in the present day is, indeed, a trial of 

n li ^ tt kind and ^ i8 n0t P robable that i1; 
will be lightened in our generation, as the 

efforts to provide for the spiritual care of the people are 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 87 

likely to precede any zealous effort to provide an adequate 
maintenance for the clergy to whom it is entrusted. It 
was not without reason that St. Paul wrote to Timothy, 
" Let no man despise thy youth ;" and probably the same 
practical mind, if it had been at work in the ages when 
Christianity became wealthy and honoured, as it now is, 
but when many of the clergy were excluded from partici 
pation in its wealth and honour 6 , might have seen fit to 
leave another injunction on record, "Let no man despise 
thy poverty." No doubt wealth, as well as rank and age, 
carries great influence with it, especially among the com 
mercial classes ; and each of these carries it in the 
estimate which those classes form of the clergy as well 
as of other persons. It is right that this should be so. 
Age presupposes experience, rank presupposes honour, 
and wealth presupposes responsibility, and, to some 
extent, worth. The stronger the tendency to such in 
fluences on the part of a clergyman s parishioners, the 
greater the disadvantage to him, at first, if he possesses 
neither wealth, rank, nor age. Young men, unknown 
men, and poor men have to earn, and must do their best 
to earn, that respect which is accorded gratuitously to 
their elders or their richer brethren. Hence the maxim 
of St. Paul may be taken in two ways, as also the maxim 
which I have ventured to found upon it. It is true that 



6 It is trying to have to labour for years, in town and country, on an 
average income of less than 1001. a year; one s wife being, perhaps, able 
to raise it 251. more by hard work as a governess. I have known vicars of 
parishes in obscure districts, of which the public never hears, equally 
cramped by poverty, and now and then, even in towns. 



88 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

no Christian flock ought to despise the youth or poverty 
of their pastor, a priori, before they have found reason 
to despise them. But it is equally true that he should be 
very careful indeed to give no man cause to despise them, 
a posteriori, from the results which they bring about, 
either now or hereafter. 

If, therefore, the clergyman of a parish is poor, do not 
let his poverty keep him aloof from his parishioners ; but 
let it be borne with such dignity and self-respect that he 
can go among them without any appearance of desire to 
disguise his condition, or to make it appear otherwise 
than the poverty of a man of sense, refinement, and con 
science. It is not really either age or wealth which give 
influence to their possessors, but the qualities by which 
age and wealth are supposed to be accompanied. If 
those qualities are aimed at by the pastor, men will 
despise neither his youth, nor his poverty ; and he him 
self will be able to feel that his moral and religious 
influence, at least, may stand quite independent of such 
accessories, so long as he takes a conscientious view of 
the relation between himself and his parishioners, and 
conscientiously acts up to it in respect to their social in 
tercourse with each other. 

. Impartiality in pastoral icork. 

The occasion I have had to speak of the pastor s re 
sponsibilities to all classes alike of his parishioners, leads 
me on to a few further remarks on the same subject, 
connected, not with social intercourse, but with an un- 
evenness and disproportion in work, with respect to 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 89 

both our acts, and the persons with whom we have to 
deal. 

Clergymen, with a variety of work before 
them, such as is to be found in no other pro- Temptation 
fession, must always be peculiarly open to the tiLuty," in 
temptation of overvaluing some parts of that work - 
work, perhaps that in which they find them 
selves most successful, to the depreciation of some other 
portion, that in which they, perhaps, meet with little 
apparent success. It is quite true, that if any clergy 
man finds himself possessed of a special aptness for 
any particular branch of his work, he ought to culti 
vate that faculty with care and diligence. It may be 
that he is a better preacher than school manager, or 
successful at domiciliary visits, when he can do but 
little, beyond what he is compelled to do, in his pulpit 
or school-room. The danger is, that in the interest 
which he will thus feel towards what he does well, he 
may give too little time and pains to that which he does 
but poorly. Suppose, e. g. he is so much in his schools 
that he has no time or energy for visiting; or so con 
stantly visiting, and bustling about his parish, that he 
neglects study ; or so engrossed with the ritual part of 
his services that his sermons become the subject of heb 
domadal impatience to his parishioners ; or that preach 
ing is made so entirely the one end of his ministry, 
that most other things are allowed to float or drift on 
as they may. "Where there is any such want of pro 
portion in the exertion of a clergyman s powers, it is 
manifest that the want of justice to his parishioners in 



90 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

one particular is not compensated for by his over-pay 
ment in another. Such mistakes may arise from mere 
want of consideration as to the effect of private tastes 
and inclinations upon the fulfilment of official duties. 
It becomes a more serious matter still, if they arise from 
a direct preference for those duties which are popular 
and observable, as Sunday services, to the neglect of others 
not less important, but which are less open to observation 
and criticism. 

The same temptation arises in the path 

Partiality 

for persons of the clergyman with regard to the persons 
under his charge. There is a great difference 
in the facility with which some classes of them may be 
" got at " and influenced, as compared with others ; and 
it not unfrequently happens that the clergyman forms, 
or allows to grow, a sort of clique, of which he is the 
centre, and these persons, (very good, probably, as well 
as very manageable,) the radiating substance. He calls 
upon them very frequently, looks to them exclusively 
for help in Church work, considers them, and treats them 
as the very elite of his flock. Perhaps towards most 
others in it he feels almost helpless and hopeless, and 
allows this feeling to go on growing until he gradually 
settles down into being the pastor of a congregation 
instead of the pastor of the parish. In such a case the 
Church becomes almost avowedly the Church of a sect, 
and the pernicious notion goes on also growing, outside 
of the clergyman s clique, that such outsiders have no 
spiritual concern with him, nor he with them. Thus 
there comes into play a sort of " pew system," in the 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 91 

pastor s work of spiritual oversight, in which the per 
petual missionary duties of the Church of England in 
her modern parishes have no place or representative. 
The most likely form of such a danger, as 



experience shows, is that which has led to the 



too common idea that a clergyman is princi 

pally concerned with the charge of women and children. 

By excess of display, in respect to his influence over the 

children of his school, or by too prominent and exclusive 

an attention to the feminine part of his flock, the clergy 

man may seem to be giving ground for this notion ; 

seeming to treat his work as if it was complete, because 

he has done something towards instructing the one, and 

gaining influence with the other. It should, therefore, 

be recognized as a first principle of parochial action, 

that men are by the laws of Providence the leaders of 

the society in which they live ; and that if they are 

not gained, very little real work has been done. The 

susceptible mind of the weaker sex is naturally open 

to personal influence, but let it be also remembered that 

the personal influence of the clergyman is not the power 

of religion. As a rule, the substantial tone of a family, 

whatever appearances may be, will follow the tone of 

its head. At least, if he is religious, the wife and chil 

dren will mostly be found so ; and good habits that 

have their origin in him will not be long in finding 

their way to the members of the family, of which he is 

the "house-band" and the father. There is, therefore, 

the strongest reason why the pastor should guard him 

self against attaching too much importance to any seem- 



92 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

ing influence that he may possess with the feminine 
portion of a family ; and why he should apportion his 
endeavours and labours in respect to persons generally, 
according to that providential arrangement by which 
"the head of the woman is the man." 

Probably it is impossible, such is the weak- 
" Follow- 
ings " to be ness of human nature, but that an earnest 

clergyman should have a "following." It 
will often, especially in large cities, be this " following," 
by which the respect and affection which many have 
justly learned to feel for him will show itself. But it 
will be healthy for him, and for those who are thus 
attached to him, to show a ruthless determination in not 
recognizing such a following, either to others, or in 
his own mind. In theory, he is in charge of the souls 
in his own parish, and in that only ; in theory he is in 
charge of the souls of all in that parish. The nearer he 
can bring his practice into analogy with this theory, 
the more faithfully will the pastor be representing, in 
his own person and work, the Catholic, orderly, and 
comprehensive character of pastoral labours as they are 
recognized by the Church of England. 

. Importance of Toivns. 

Although the subject is almost too general an one 
for a place in a book which professes to deal with pastoral 
work in detail, it seems not altogether inappropriate 
to urge here a more thorough appreciation, on the part 
of the clergy at large, of the importance of viewing 
the Church of England as the Church of the whole 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 93 

people of the land, and as equally essential to the 
progress and even maintenance of religion whether 
in town or country. There has always been a prefer 
ence for country parishes among the clergy : and of 
books that have been written on the subject of pastoral 
work, I know hardly any which at all deal with it, as if 
England was a land of manufacturing and commercial 
towns as well as of agricultural villages. Let English 
clergymen avoid the seductions of the charming sophism 
that " God made the country, but man made the town." 
Under the influence of love for country life they went a 
long way, in past generations, towards losing the hold of 
the Church of which they are ministers on the populations 
of our large towns. And yet one great city, thoroughly 
gained for the Church, would have more influence on the 
revival of Church of England principles, and of practical 
religion, than the largest county of mere agricultural 
parishes. It is in the cities and towns that the intel 
lectual powers are being developed among the classes who 
do the head-work of the country. It is there that the 
great social questions of the day are being tried out; 
there that the secular part of education is being pushed 
to its utmost limits. This is especially the case in the 
north of England; which, in many parts, is a kind of 
Anglicized America in its feelings, institutions, and habits ; 
the principal difference, and a most important one, being, 
that there is still a strong underlying force of national 
tradition which gives a stability to the northern counties 
of England, derived from the consciousness of a past, such 
as America in its unmitigated newness, cannot yet possess. 



94 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

If it should be the lot of a clergyman to be cast in any 
town parish where the characteristics here hinted at are 
conspicuous, let him look on it as a ministerial privilege ; 
let him consider that he has been placed in a position 
where all his learning, energy, zeal, piety, and tact, will 
be required. He has been placed in the vanguard of the 
army which is fighting the Lord s battle against immo 
rality and intellectual sin ; and has had put into his hands 
the most hopeful material that can be found for building 
up a " Church of the future," such as will be a true de 
velopment, for a busy age, of the ever fresh and young 
Church which has been the guide of so many generations. 
Our towns and cities are fields of labour in which Christ s 
pastors are sure to win great progress for His Church and 
glory for His Name, if they are but true to their office, 
and to the principles of the Church in which they minister. 

. Systematic Habits. 

"Whether in a town parish where the houses are almost 
heaped together, or in a country village and its adjacent 
farmsteads, the pastor will find that his work among his 
parishioners is made much more productive by a systematic 
economy of his powers. 

Some persons have a fear of system in religious matters 
of any kind, others have a kind of contempt for it. Those 
who fear it do so from a dread that it must be accom 
panied by, or that it must lead on to, formality: while 
those who despise system, despise it from a misapprehen 
sion of the silent and concentrated nature of its results. 
Work done on a systematic plan occupies less space and 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 95 

makes less show than diffuse and bustling labours ; but it 
will suffer great injustice if it is judged by a superficial 
glance. 

One who is in real earnest will be in little danger of 
becoming merely formal. System is to parish work what 
the forms of devotion are to prayer. A high sense of 
responsibility to God will be the true safeguard in either 
case, and a thoroughly efficient one. There need be no 
fear of formality arising from exactness and system : the 
danger of it will come from other sources. 

As to the amount of work relatively accomplished by a 
loose and a systematic course of action, it seems almost 
unnecessary to say a word in such days as these, except 
for the peculiar reasons that I have referred to above. As 
in other callings, so it will be with that of the clergyman ; 
the systematic man will accomplish in two hours as much 
work as one of unsystematic habits will do in the greater 
part of a day. The one goes on the plan of " knowing 
what he has to do, and doing it ;" the other, starting with 
indefinite notions as to the nature and extent of his work, 
is sure to have still more indefinite ideas as to the mode of 
doing it. The one is able to watch his own progress in 
the mass or in the detail of his labour : to see when it is 
time to leave it off, when it has been carried as far as it 
need or can go, and when continued labour is still re 
quired : the other is like a man digging up a field here 
and there as the impulse takes him, who may finish his 
task in time, but who will expend far more time and 
labour over it than he need have done had he dug on in 
an orderly manner, spit after spit, from one end of the 



96 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

field to the other. The systematic man knows pretty well, 
too, the extent and limits of his powers, mental and phy 
sical, of his official authority, and of his responsibilities ; 
while the unsystematic is ever a slave to the unknown and 
the infinite. The one can persevere; the other is con 
tinually breaking down. The one often succeeds ; the 
other almost always fails. 

Without descending to much detail, which is not the 
object of this chapter, I will take two illustrations of the 
value of system in the relations between a pastor and his 
flock ; the one connected with domiciliary visiting, the 
other with his mode of teaching. 

1. A clergyman may habitually spend a large 
System m -part o f fa s time in visiting his flock, and yet 

visiting. m j t 

be producing very little effect by his visits 
through the want of some definite purpose and course of 
action. If the true view of ordinary pastoral visiting cul 
minated in a little friendly semi- religious gossip, of course 
little more system in mental or bodily action need be used 
than is enough to carry the pastor from house to house, to 
take so many in turn, and get through so many week by 
week. But if the clergyman ought to be something more 
than a kind Christian friend, and if he is to leave his mark as 
a pastor in the houses where he makes official visits, he will 
find it profitable to consider in each case why he is visiting, 
and in each visit what can be done towards effecting the 
object in view. Thus he may seek out a purpose for nearly 
the whole of his domiciliary visiting, and steadily work 
his way towards its attainment. 

2. A large majority of our people are marvellously de- 



THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 97 

ficient as to their knowledge of the fundamental principles 
of Christianity. This fact comes out in strong colours some 
times, when conversation in society happens to turn towards 
any current controversy, such as the authority of the Holy 
Bible or the observance of Sunday. I have known a lady 
of much piety, and some education, express great astonish 
ment when told that she was wrong in supposing the 
Bible Society possessed the original MSS. of the New 
Testament : and among the lower classes ignorance of a 
far more grave character in proportion to their station of 
life is to be found ~. It is to be feared that a vague way of 
preaching has had much to do with this ignorance among 
all classes. Catechizing is the true remedy of the Church s 
own appointment ; but it is manifest that a systematic 
mode of teaching, which is based on similar principles, 
is far more likely to overcome the evil than an unmethodi 
cal habit in which truths are loosely hung together, and 
hardly any advantage taken of the system actually put 
into our hands in the Kalendar of lessons, the varying 
Sunday services, and the seasons of the Christian year. 
But of this I have spoken more at length in the following 
chapter, and will therefore say no more here. 

A careful reflection on the subject of these two illustra 
tions will probably lead the reader to more valuable con 
clusions than I have set before him ; but I feel no doubt 



7 The returns of gaol chaplains are a valuable record of the state of reli 
gious knowledge among the neglected classes. In some months experience 
of a prison which accidentally came upon me through the illness and death 
of a relative, I found many who knew not even the name of their Redeemer ; 
few who could say the Creed and the Lord s Prayer perfectly. 

H 



98 THE RELATION OF THE PASTOR TO HIS FLOCK. 

that they will be in favour of a systematic habit of pastoral 
labour, such as that I have advocated ; and that the prac 
tical value of such a system must unfold itself more and 
more to those who adopt it. 

. Over-work. 

The routine of official prayer, study, social amenities, 
and parochial labour, to which I have directed attention 
in the preceding chapters, are but a part of the duties 
that fall to the lot of the diligent pastor, and yet they 
point to a great amount of work, such as may easily prove 
exhausting if undertaken with indiscreet zeal. It is, there 
fore, a duty on the part of a hard-working clergyman to 
take care not to over- work himself to such an extent that 
he is obliged to intermit his labours at a time, perhaps, 
when they are most required ; or cease from them alto 
gether through loss of health at a period of life when the 
mature growth of his judgment and the extent of his ex 
perience would have made him more than ever useful. 
There is something hollow in that activity which is ex 
cessive for a year or two, and then drives a clergyman away 
from his flock for months to the Continent or to idleness. 
The pastor should be generous in the expenditure of his 
health and strength, because his flock may well require 
such generosity at his hands. He has no right to be 
prodigal with them, because they are the gifts of God, for 
use, and not for abuse even in His service. 



Extreme 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

VERY different ideas have been expressed by 
various parties in the Church as to the value of opmions 
preaching. " "We would not be thought/ says about . 
a writer in the Eighty-ninth Tract for the 
Times, "entirely to depreciate preaching as a means of 
doing good. It may be necessary in a weak and languish 
ing state ; but it is an instrument which Scripture, to say 
the least, has never recommended." Such was the tone 
of the party represented by these Tracts. 

On the other hand, the tone of the opposite, or evange 
lical party, was such as to represent preaching as the 
highest part of the Christian system, or as the centre from 
and to which every other part of the system points. " All 
our diversity of means and machinery must subserve, and 
their energy depend upon, a faithful exercise of the 
preaching commission. All the work done, or to be done, 
must be connected with the foolishness of preaching 
as God s chosen and chief ordinance V 



1 Bridges Christian Ministry, p. 191. 
H 2 



100 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

As usual, we may look for the truth, between 

Its educa- th ese two extremes : and it is instructive to 
tive value. 

find that those who depreciated preaching made 

more of it in their practice than they did in their theory ; 
while those who exalted it to the chief place in the Chris 
tian system, practically recognized the value of the grace 
given by sacraments. Preaching is, if not absolutely 
necessary, yet highly expedient for all classes of English 
people. The uneducated would know hardly any thing 
of their religion, and very little indeed of their Bibles, but 
for the sermons which they hear 2 . The educated gain 
information as to their religion and their Bibles by means 
of it from one who makes both his professional study, and 
who therefore possesses more knowledge of his subject than 
one in a thousand of his hearers is likely to have acquired 
independently of the sermons listened to Sunday after 
Sunday from childhood. 

But there is a higher reason still why preach - 
vaiuT" ^8 should be used. The preacher comes in 
the name of God, and with the grace of God. 
It is the duty of his people to listen to him, because he is 
an ambassador from One to whom all owe allegiance. And 
faith in the promises of Christ will lead us to anticipate 
some other benefit from his message than that advantage 
which may always be expected from listening to a man 
who is an expert in his own particular line. 

2 Fenelon remarks, in his Dialogues on Eloquence, that " there are always 
three-fourths of ,an ordinary congregation who do not know those first 
principles of religion, in which the preacher supposes every one to he fully 
instructed." 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 101 

There is. therefore, a foundation of sound 

. . The demand 

and religious common sense in the acknow- for sermons 

i -i -i n , n T f a, sound oiie. 

ledged demand oi our people lor sermons. 

Instead of complaining of, or checking it, the clergy 
should endeavour to meet it in such a manner as to make 
the foolishness of preaching a real means of drawing men 
nearer to God. And surely that is an honourable part 
of the pastor s duty, which exclusively won for the great 
Archbishop of Constantinople his distinctive surname of 
Chrysostom. 

. The place of Preaching in the Church system. 

In the Scriptural and the Prayer Book sense of the 
word, to preach has a far higher meaning than that com 
monly assigned to it. The ordinary idea of preaching is, 
that it consists solely in the composition, and the de 
livery (from or without manuscript) of an essay or exhor 
tation which owes its force to the preacher s natural gifts 
of intellect, spiritualized, perhaps, by personal piety 3 . 
The idea of a special commission, as an element in the 
effectiveness of preaching, is but rarely entertained. Even 
those who maintain that such a commission is necessary 
for the administration of the sacraments, will concede 
the point that any well-educated and pious man may 
deliver a discourse such as will constitute him a true 
preacher of the Word of God. 



3 The latter condition is not always required in favourite preachers by 
the popular mind. 



102 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

Adopting the rule which I laid down for 
England myself and my readers in the first page of this 

theory of volume, let us 2ro in search of the Church of 

preaching. 

England idea upon the subject ; and we shall 
find a statement in the twenty-third Article of Religion, 
that " it is not lawful for any man to take upon him the 
office of public preaching, or ministering the sacraments 
in the congregation, before he be lawfully called and sent 
to execute the same." And the forty-ninth Canon en 
joins that "no person whatsoever, not examined and 
approved by the bishop of the diocese, or not licensed, 
as is aforesaid, for a sufficient or convenient preacher, 
shall take upon him to expound in his own cure, or else 
where, any Scripture or matter of doctrine." Some 
bishops give this licence to preach in formal terms ; others 
consider it to be included in the commission given to 
a clergyman by Ordination ; but no one can doubt that 
great importance is intended to be attached to the ordi 
nance of preaching; and that authority to preach is 
considered essential, not only as a question of civil or 
ecclesiastical order, but also, and far more, as one of 
spiritual efficacy. This may be seen from a summary of 
the terms in which preaching is spoken of in those formu 
laries, by which every clergyman is legally bound, and to 
which he ought loyally to bow. 

1. In the words of Ordination, immediately 

Ordination after the solemn commission usually called 

"The Power of the Keys," come the words, 

" And be thou a faithful dispenser of the Word of God, 

and of His holy Sacraments ; " and after this general 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 103 

commission the more particular one, " Take thou authority 
to preach the Word of God, and to minister the holy Sacra 
ments in the congregation where thou shalt be lawfully 
appointed thereunto. * 

2. The twenty-sixth Article of Religion 
refers to preaching in similar terms, declaring 
that the "ministration of the Word," as well 

as of the Sacraments, is in the name of Christ, so that 
" we may use the ministry " of even " evil " men, " both 
in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving of the 
Sacraments." That preaching is really meant by such 
solemn words is shown by the nineteenth Article, which 
declares that "the Visible Church of Christ is a con 
gregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of 
God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly adminis 
tered," &c. 

3. The twenty-third Article, which forbids laymen to 
preach, I have already quoted ; but its force is strength 
ened (considering the spirit of the times when the 
Articles were compiled) by the thirty-seventh, which 
declares, among other things, that "we give not" even 
" to our princes the, ministering either of God s Word, or of 
the Sacraments," &c. 

All these passages show that the Church of England 
idea of preaching is, that it is a work for which the 
qualification of holy orders is required, and that one who 
has not received those holy orders is no more competent 
to be a "dispenser of the Word of God" than to be a 
" dispenser of His holy Sacraments V 

4 It seems to nic, after much doubt and consideration, that the Re- 



104 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

I have been particular in pointing this out clearly, not 
with the view of passing any judgment upon the teaching 
of Dissenters, but to show in what position the Church 
of England considers her clergy to be with reference to 
the ordinance of preaching as it forms part of her system. 
Any view of that ordinance which places it in the light of 
a mere effort of literary ability or eloquence under the 
influence of personal piety, is plainly much below the 
view in which it is placed by the formularies of the 
Church. They plainly contemplate the preacher s office 
as dependent on the grace given by God the Holy Ghost 
through ordination, as well as on the learning, literary 
ability, and eloquence with which every clergyman is 
supposed to be provided by study and practice. In a tone 
consistent with such a theory is the beautiful Litany 
clause, so familiar to the ears of all Englishmen, " That 
it may please Thee to illuminate all bishops, priests, and 
deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of Thy 
Word ; and that both by their preaching and li ving they 
may set it forth, and show it accordingly." Such too are 
the words of one of the Ember prayers, when the Church 
beseeches God to "replenish" her ministers "with the 
truth of His doctrine;" and of the less familiar words 



formers certainly meant preaching by the expression, " the ministry of the 
Word of God." It may be well, however, to add Hooker s caution on the 
subject : " If we allege what the Scriptures themselves do usually speak for 
the saving force of the Word of God, not with restraint to any one certain 
kind of delivery, hit howsoever the same shall chance to lie made known, 
yet by one trick or other they always restrain it unto sermons." He also 
gives examples of the application of the word, " preaching God s Word," in 
other senses than by sermons, in V. xxi. 4. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOT) s WORD. 105 

used after the ordination of priests by the bishop, " Most 
merciful Father, we beseech Thee to send upon these 
Thy servants Thy heavenly blessing; that they may be 
clothed with righteousness, and that Thy word spoken 
by their mouths may have such success, that it may never 
be spoken in vain V 

Much care, then, must the pastor take, not to undervalue 
the duty of preaching in his own mind, and not to cause 
it to be undervalued by others. Considering the im 
portance of the work to others, and his own responsibility 
in respect to it, both towards God and man, he will feel 
that the grace of the Holy Ghost is indeed necessary for 
him, as well as all the skill and learning that he can give, 
to make preaching effective. Remembering also the pro 
mise made to the Apostles, " It is not you that speak, but 
the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you;" he 
will believe that in some measure the same Spirit will 
speak in him for his ordinary pastoral work that spake 
in the Apostles for their Apostolic work 6 . Knowing that 
the awful words, " Receive the Holy Ghost for the work 



s It is a point worth, observing, that no responsibility is laid upon 
deacons by their ordination, to " drive away erroneous doctrine," either by 
their public or private admonitions. I have known deacons preach, and 
publish too, very good controversial sermons ; but I have also known them 
"get into hot water" with the flock in which they ministered by doing so. 
Perhaps a due consideration of the duties and responsibilities of a deacon 
might lead to the conclusion that, as no official authority is given them 
by their ordination to drive away erroneous doctrine, they ought not, under 
ordinary circumstances, to engage in any sort of controversial work. The 
circumstances and character of Athanasius were exceptional. 

6 Such an application of this promise is to be found in Aug. De Doctr. 
Christian, iv. 16. 



106 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

of a priest," extend to the priest s work of preaching, as 
well as to that of dispensing the Holy Sacraments, he will 
endeavour to " stir up the gift which is in him by the 
laying on of hands." And both when he is preparing 
and when he is delivering his sermons he will strive to do 
both to the best of his power, and to work in a faithful 
dependence upon God the Holy Ghost, that he may be 
made an ambassador of the personal Word of God, pro 
claiming that which, from its written fountain and its 
quasi-prophetic character, may be truly called the minis 
tration of God s Word to His people. 

Such a solemn appreciation of preaching is quite in 
accordance with the tone of Holy Scripture on the subject. 
It has been said, and that without any irreverence, that 
our Blessed Lord was proved by temptation before He 
" began to preach and to say, Repent ; for the kingdom of 
heaven is at hand;" and that He took not on Himself 
even the office of preacher, but, according to the words of 
prophecy (to which He gave the application in their fulfil 
ment on almost the first public exercise of His ministry,) 
" The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me ; because He hath 
anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor ; He hath 
sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance 
to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set 
at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable 
year of the Lord V When, too, our Chief Shepherd sent 
forth the Apostles and the Evangelists, "to preach the 
kingdom of God" was one part of the work appointed 

7 Luke iv. 18. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 107 

them ; and so was it also in the final commission given to 
the former immediately before His ascension. But per 
haps the importance of the duty is nowhere more clearly 
shown than in the solemn language used respecting it by 
St. Paul, " Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an 
apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a 
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity 8 ." And in 
similar words at the end of his labours, " Whereunto I am 
appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the 
Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things V 
Twice does he thus point out the authority under which 
he acts, ordination to his preachership as well as to 
his Apostleship. A Ki ipvZ, coming in the Name of the 
King, he is for the time endowed with the King s dignity 
and authority, in His Name, and only because it is 
in His Name that he acts, to " beseech men in Christ s 
stead." 

Thus does the Church of England send forth the 
pastors of Christ s flock. She bids them go to the in 
tellectual classes and to the ignorant, to the crowded town 
and the pleasant village church, and declare to all, " I 
have a message from God unto thee ;" " non valet haec ego 
dico, ha3C tu dicis, haec ille dicit; set hsec dicit Domi- 
nus 1 ." She bids them go as men who do not indeed 
claim to be depositaries of the faith, but only expositors 
of it ; yet as those who can speak as men educated in their 
profession, holding a commission from God, and endowed 



* 1 Tim. ii. 7. 9 2 Tim. i. 11. 

1 Axis , ad Vincent. 



108 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

with grace to assist them in teaching aright. It is true 
that they are still open to the criticism of those who can 
test their logic or their learning ; but such criticism ought 
to be of a reverent kind, and made in the spirit of charity ; 
reverent, because the preachers are God s messengers ; 
charitable, because it is right to suppose that, as con 
scientious men, they are doing their best according to 
their natural or their educated ability. 

In the conviction that the duty of preaching is thus 
one that cannot be slighted without danger of dishonour 
ing Hiln who has appointed it, I will now endeavour to 
lead my readers to the consideration of some practical 
matters connected with it, and which may be of use to 
young clergymen in helping them to acquire such effi 
ciency in the exercise of this part of their duties, as may 
be for the true edification of that part of God s house 
hold which the Master Builder has assigned to their 
charge. 

. The object of Preaching. 

Stated in a concise form, the object of all preaching 
must be considered to be that of drawing souls nearer to 
God. This would be the purpose of preaching to the 
heathen, who are God s children by creation, though not 
yet drawn near to Him by baptism and Christian life; 
it is the object in the case of Christians alienated from 
Him by wicked living ; and it is the object in the case of 
good Christians, who are often falling back from Him, 
and need exhortation all their lives, to press on towards 
a closer union with their Lord. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 109 

But a definition mostly requires expanding, if its full 
bearing is to be seen. I would therefore say that the 
drawing of souls nearer to God by means of preaching 
is effected through three principal functions of the 
preacher s office, viz., instruction, exhortation, and con 
solation ; all of which in their proper places minister 
to the confirmation of Christians in the spiritual life. 

The first of these is a most important 

Instruction. 

function of preaching, of whatever class or 
mixture of classes the preacher s congregation may be 
composed. It will embrace the three principal heads of 
(a) Exposition of Holy Scripture ; (j3) Proofs and ex 
planations of Church doctrine ; and (7) Christian Ethics : 
and there is at present no danger of finding any class of 
society so well informed on either of these heads, as to 
make the preacher s office, in respect to that class, un 
necessary. 

a) It appears to me that exposition might 
be advantageously used to a much larger extent tion! XP S 
than it is ; especially in parishes where the 
bulk of the congregations is composed of the non-reading 
part of the community. Such exposition may sometimes 
be confined to the one or more verses which are used as a 
Text ; but there is no reason why it should not at other 
limes extend to the whole of a chapter or a Psalm, the 
key-note being carefully struck by means of a text care 
fully chosen with that object from among its verses. The 
Psalms especially, which are so much neglected by modern 
preachers, may be most profitably used as the subject of 
pulpit exposition ; and by means of it the congregation will 



110 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

be led to sing them with the understanding, as well as with 
the voice. Of course St. Augustine, Bishop Home, Mr. 
Eraser s, Mr. Isaac Williams , and Mr. Neale s books should 
be well used as a previous study : and there are here and 
there many valuable treatises on particular Psalms, as the 
119th, or classes of Psalms, as the penitential, which may 
offer many suggestions, and start many a good train of 
thought, in the course of preparation for a sermon. Nor 
is the Psalter by any means the only portion of Holy 
Scripture which requires to be " expounded," if it is to be 
understood by the uneducated. There are chapters in the 
prophetic books which are mysteries to the majority of 
people when they are read in church or in private, and 
which ought to be dealt with in the same manner ; and 
discourses on our Lord s Parables or Miracles must almost 
necessarily take the form of continuous exposition. It was 
thus that the wonderful folios of a former age were 
developed, mediaeval commentaries on Holy Scripture, and 
Puritan volumes of Sermon after Sermon on the Romans, 
and other favourite parts of the New Testament, by a 
multitude of " painful preachers." Among the former are 
some of our most valuable expositions of the Bible, freely 
used without acknowledgment by later English commen 
tators, and among the latter there is many a sound and 
useful lesson to be learned by those who have patience to 
wade through a strangely verbose style. But a real student 
of the original of Holy Scripture will never be at a loss 
for material wherewith to expound and illustrate an ordi 
nary chapter of the Bible ; and in no part of his ministra 
tions will he find a stronger confirmation of the words, 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. Ill 

" He that watereth shall be watered himself," than in the 
increasing knowledge of the Bible which he will gain by 
the exercise of his intellect and piety in explaining it from 
the pulpit to others. 

/3) In saying that Church doctrine should 
form a part of the instruction given in Sermons, Doctrine 
I desire to guard against being supposed to 
recommend controversial preaching as either desirable or 
necessary for ordinary congregations. Nothing is more 
objectionable than a combative tone in the pulpit. The 
duty of engaging in controversy may be thrown upon the 
Church and on individual clergymen, but the pulpit is 
rarely the place from which it should be carried on. 
Speaking of this to his clergy in 1751, the temperate and 
holy Bishop Butler says, "It may seem, that whatever 
reason there be for caution as to entering into an argu 
mentative defence of religion in common conversation, yet 
that it is necessary to do this from the pulpit, in order to 
guard the people against being corrupted, however, in some 
places. But then surely it should be done in a manner 
as little controversial as possible. For though such as are 
capable of seeing the force of objections are capable also of 
seeing the force of the answers which are given to them ; 
yet the truth is, the people will not competently attend to 
either. But it is easy to see which they will attend to 
most. And to hear religion treated of as what many deny, 
and which has much said against it as well as for it ; this 
cannot but have a tendency to give them ill impressions 
at any time ; and seems particularly improper for all per 
sons at a time of devotion ; even for such as are arrived at 



112 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

the most settled state of piety ; I say at a time of devo 
tion, when we are assembled to yield ourselves up to the 
full influence of the Divine presence, and to call forth into 
actual exercise every pious affection of heart 2 ." This 
sound reasoning is that which every clergyman who limits 
his Christian zeal by his Christian prudence will find most 
suitable to his inclination as well as his judgment. And 
he will conclude that the duty of " driving away strange 
doctrines " to which every pastor is pledged by his ordi 
nation vows, is to be fulfilled, so far as the pulpit is con 
cerned, by a declaration of truth rather than by a formal 
attempt to refute error. While it is made clear what 
particular error is opposed to the truth declared, it will be 
best to touch as lightly as possible on the error itself, but 
boldly and unflinchingly to oppose to it the strongest force 
of truth which is in our power. 

For, although a controversial spirit and controversy 
itself are out of place in the pulpit, not the less necessary is it 
that the preacher of the Gospel should endeavour to secure 
to his people the veritable good tidings which are their 
rightful inheritance, and not "another Gospel," such as 
man} 7 " may indeed hanker after, but none can be saved by. 
Our congregations are made up, for the most part, of 
people who are easily misled, the uneducated through 
their absolute ignorance of right and wrong in matters of 
faith, the educated through a comparative ignorance, the 
sympathies of which are all on the side of doubt. Hence it 
is only by persevering declaration of the truth that the 

- Butler s Works, ii. 313. Oxford Ed. 1850. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 113 

former can be made to feel what they cannot reason out, 
that the Church has a larger claim upon their allegiance, 
and offers them a more sure icay of salvation than the Ranters 1 
meeting-house. And as to the educated class, they are in 
constant danger of being seduced by some plausible and 
pretentious writer like Dr. Colenso, whose power over 
their minds will be lessened in proportion as the truth is 
efficiently set before them. It is true we are not required 
to preach our people into theologians, but into good Chris 
tians ; but as the goodness of Christians diminishes in pro 
portion to the diminution of truth and the growth of error 
in their minds, theological teaching, as distinguished from 
controversy, becomes a necessary part of pulpit work. 

In all such theological teaching, let us " consider the 
end of our conversation." It is not to discuss sublapsa- 
rianism and supralapsarianism ; but it is to speak a word 
of which God our Saviour is the object : " Him first, Him 
last, Him midst, and without end." Never should we tire 
of setting forth the glory of God and the salvation of man in 
the person of Christ. Never need our congregations be tired 
of hearing Him so set forth, if we are true to our calling 
in the study of Holy Scripture, in prayer, diligence, and 
holiness. A moderately good preacher may set out with 
the determination that almost the whole of his preaching 
shall consist of sermons in which " Jesus Christ, yesterday, 
to-day, and for ever," shall be literally the chief theme ; 
and he would, by study, find such infinite store of material 
in the things that were written concerning Him in Moses 
and the Prophets and the Psalms, that he might extend his 
sermons over a course of many years without any lack of 

i 



114 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

variety. Once let him accept the Holy Bible as a system 
of Christology in which the At-one-Maker and His work, 
past, present, and to come, on the world of men at large, on 
each individual soul of man, is set forth, and he will find 
out that, at least for the confirmation of his people in the 
faith, all that he needs (but what an all it is !) will be to 
bring himself and them, by God s good aid, to a sound 
understanding of those Scriptures in which all necessary 
truth is contained. 

I need hardly add, that the chief features of such a 
Christology as is here spoken of are mapped out, or in 
dexed, in the venerable creeds to which every clergyman 
has sworn allegiance ; and that for the particular division 
of the object of preaching of which I am now speaking, 
the prayers of the Church of England go a very long way 
indeed towards indicating the faith of the Church of 
England. Nor need I point out in detail that those 
particulars which constitute the differentia between the 
Church of England and other religious communities of 
England, Romanist and Protestant, are clearly set forth in 
the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. But it may be well 
to recall to the memory of my readers some words of good 
George Herbert on this head : " The country parson," a 
fortiori might be added, the town parson, "hath read 
the Fathers also, and the schoolmen, and the later writers, 
or a good proportion of all, out of all which he hath 
compiled a book, and body of divinity, which is the 
storehouse of his sermons, and which he preacheth all his 
life ; but diversely clothed, illustrated, and enlarged. For 
though the world is full of such composures, yet every 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 115 

man s own is fittest, readiest, and most savoury to him. 
Besides, this being to be done in his younger and prepara 
tory times, it is an honest joy ever after to look upon his 
well-spent hours. This body he made by way of expound 
ing the Church Catechism, to which all divinity may 
easily be reduced. For it being indifferent in itself to 
choose any method, that is best to be chosen of which 
there is likeliest to be most use. Now catechizing being a 
work of singular and admirable benefit to the Church of 
God, and a thing required under canonical obedience, the 
expounding of our Catechism must needs be the most 
useful form V On this passage Professor Blunt remarks 
that such a method would lead to the danger of each 
clergyman having his own "private system" of theology ; 
and he recommends instead a mere alphabetical arrange 
ment of subjects, under which the various extracts and 
compendia may be placed for ready reference. The present 
writer will not venture to express a decided opinion either 
way in the face of two authorities so sound and wise ; but 
he may add, that he made the Catechism his study in the 
early years of his ministry, and set down on paper, with 
many additions, the substance of a year s catechizing, so 
prepared for, in a country church. These condensed notes, 
with their numerous Bible and other references, have often 
proved of great advantage to him in the preparation of 
doctrinal sermons ; and he has sometimes found there the 
essence of former reading which at the later period he had 
neither time nor opportunity to work up again. He is, 

3 Herbert s Works, i. 128. 

i 2 



116 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

therefore, disposed to think that the preparation of a MS. 
volume of the kind indicated would be a most useful result 
of the reading which must necessarily be undertaken for 
sermon purposes; and it would at any time come into 
direct use for school catechizing, even where Church cate 
chizing is not practised 4 . 

But the ordinary office of the preacher in respect to 
doctrinal teaching will be rather to pre-occupy the ground, 
than to meet the adversary when he has shown himself in 
array. In a vessel which is full of generous wine there 
will be no room for the introduction of less wholesome 
fluid. Minds that have been well accustomed to a course 
of sound doctrinal preaching which finds its main support 
in the words of Holy Scripture and the Prayer Book, will 
offer little room for the lodgment of heretical and schis- 
matical notions. However humble the doctrinal knowledge 
of uneducated people may be, if they have learned really 
and religiously to appreciate Christmas, Good Friday, 
Easter, and Whitsuntide, they possess in their minds the 
key to the knowledge of all Christian doctrine. It is not 

4 James I. issued an injunction in 1623 against the use of any other 
subject than the Catechism for afternoon preaching; and up to a compara 
tively late date the tone of bishops charges was in accordance with this 
injunction. Baxter says, towards the close of his life, "Now it is the 
fundamental doctrines of the Catechism which I higliliest value, and daily 
think of, and find most useful to myself and others. The Creed, the Lord s 
Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, do find me now the most acceptable 
and plentiful matter for all my meditations. They are to me as my daily 
bread and drink, and, as I can speak and write of them over and over again, 
so I had rather read or hear of them than any of the school niceties which 
once so much pleased me. And thus I observed it was with old Bishop Usher 
and many other men." 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WOED. 117 

difficult, from season to season and year to year, to give 
them such a knowledge of the meaning as well as the facts 
of our Lord s life and work as will be a sound defence 
against the attacks of adversaries. 

Let me only add to this, that all doctrinal preaching 
ought to be of an extremely reverent character, and should 
have something of a devotional element infused into it 5 . 
A hard dogmatic or argumentative style of explaining or 
defending Christian truth will always repel all ordinary 
classes of hearers, however appropriate it might be before 
an assembly of highly educated men. It is much to be 
avoided in the customary pastoral work of the pulpit. 

And above all, it must be ever shown with untiring 
reiteration, that the end of all doctrine is practice ; that a 
belief in our Lord Jesus Christ ought to end in our falling 
down at His feet to worship Him ; in a casting ourselves 
before Him as sinful creatures ; in a laying hold upon the 
salvation which He has wrought, and is working for us. 
Without this, our faith, however orthodox it may be in 
theory, is not that practical faith which preaching is in 
tended to deepen within us, and by it, draw us nearer to God. 

The remaining division of the instruction 
which I am assuming to form so large a part g^ 1 ^ 1811 
of the object of preaching, is instruction in 

5 The occasional introduction, even, of a devotional form for a few sentences 
of a sermon is extremely effective in giving a good tone to both preacher 
and hearers ; and the Doxology with which it is customary to end a sermon 
may be advantageously used as a kind of condensed summary of what has 
gone before, or as a memorial of the season, as Good Friday, Easter Day, or 
Whitsuntide, on the plan of the "proper prefaces" in the Communion 
Service, but shorter. 



118 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

Christian ethics. This also is a very important work in 
the present day, and a work which has been spoken of 
too slightingly by those who used to sneer at "moral 
essays," as if morality were one thing and Christian 
holiness another. There is a dangerous idea growing up 
in sceptical minds, that a high moral life is possible quite 
independently of Christian influences, and that such a life 
fulfils all the demands really made upon us as responsible 
creatures. This is, in effect, to reject Christ s law as an 
obligation, and Christian grace as the means of fulfilling 
that obligation ; and it is a very small step further to 
go so far towards rejecting Christ Himself as to recognize 
Him only in a way akin to the recognition conceded by 
the Doceta?. 

Preaching on Christian ethics should be founded on 
these two principles : First, that Christians are living 
under the obligation of a Christianized moral law, as 
distinguished from a natural moral law imposed by God 
on heathens, or the moral law imposed upon the Jewish 
race. Secondly, that the specific character of this Chris 
tianized moral law makes necessary a specific grace to 
be bestowed by God on and through our Christian nature 
for the fulfilment of its obligations. Thus, to take an 
illustration from our Lord s own teaching. Abstinence 
from murder was part of the Jewish law, and part also 
of the natural moral law, but it is elaborated by Christ, 
receiving from Him an additional, that is, a more strict 
or Christian character. Now, God is not a hard task 
master. When He imposed a higher law, He also gave 
a higher grace ; and it is as easy for those who are one 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 119 

with Christ by the operation of the Holy Ghost to keep 
the more difficult law as it was for the heathen or the 
Jew to keep the more easy one. 

Without further illustration it will be seen how large 
a field is thus opened to the preacher for showing the 
connexion of Christ s work and person with Christian 
ethics ; that, according to His own word, " Without Me ye 
can do nothing," self- righteousness is no righteousness 
at all, and the modern expression of old errors about 
non-Christian morality contrary to the first principles 
laid down in Christ s teaching, "As the branch cannot 
bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine : no more 
can ye, except ye abide in Me 6 ." This fundamental 
principle of Christian ethics is to be found expressed 
in the thirteenth Article, which says that "works done 
before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of His 
Spirit, are not pleasing to God;" and is the constant 
burden of that Apostle who said, " wretched man that 
I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?" 
in the strong conviction of the truth of his other words, 
" I can do all things through Christ which strengthened 
me." In giving such ethical instruction it must be re 
membered that the conversion of sinners is, however, only 
one part of a preacher s duty. Our congregations are 
of a mixed character, and it is quite as necessary to preach 
for the purpose of building up the godly. There are 
multitudes of doubts and difficulties of such, in respect 
to their moral conduct and obligations, which in the 

6 John xv. 4. 



120 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

Roman Catholic Church are brought to the confessional 
to be solved, but which may receive just as sound and 
useful a solution in the pulpit from careful ethical preach 
ing carefully self-applied to their personal case by well- 
trained Christian minds. 

Of formal treatises which may help the preacher in 
this part of his work there are not many. Such books 
as Bishop Butler s Sermons, are, of course, essential 
reading for the purpose; and Paley s Moral Theology 
may prove of great use to a mind fortified by settled 
principles. But as it is not the province of a writer in 
strictly scientific treatises to say much on that necessity 
for the help of God s grace which forms a principal 
part of a preacher s ground in treating the same subject, 
he cannot expect to find in such writers assistance which 
will supersede the necessity for careful thought on his 
own part. The Romanist Liguori is full of hair-splitting, 
abounds in minute dealings with abominations which it 
is "a shame even to speak of," and contains many very 
questionable conclusions indeed. Bishop Sanderson s 
works are of great value, as also Bishop Taylor s Ditctor 
Dubitantium. There is, of modern date, a compact volume 
on " Christian Morals," published by the Rev. William 
Sewell, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University 
of Oxford, which will furnish many useful suggestions to 
the mind of a thoughtful clergyman for preaching of the 
kind I am here suggesting. 

I have dwelt so long upon the instructing 

Exhortation 

and conso- part of the preacher s omce because it appears 
to me to be that which in its various parts 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 121 

must be most frequently brought into play by a practical 
preacher. The other functions of that office, exhortation 
and consolation, must also, in reality, be built upon 
instruction, and take their form from it, except on special 
occasions. Unless they are so, there is danger of both 
becoming very unreal. In preaching to a congregation 
of 300 or 400 persons, for instance, Sunday after Sunday, 
almost always the same set of people, there is no room 
for constant exhortation, except so far as it may be con 
nected with some subject coming under one or other 
head of the classification I have just gone through. 
General admonitions to repentance addressed to such a 
congregation must lose their weight by reiteration. It 
is right to assume that exhortation has some effect even 
the first time it is uttered ; but the continual repetition 
of it implies that it has had no effect, which should 
certainly not be taken for granted to be the case. No 
thing is w r orse for those who listen to sermons, than 
to become so familiar with the constant cry of danger 
that they come to disregard it. They look upon it as 
part of the preacher s professional habit: "He don t 
think so badly of us as to suppose that we really need 
such continual denunciation of our supposed sins, and 
such unceasing calls to repentance. It is just what a 
man must do if he gets up to preach." I have even 
heard it asserted, and believe the assertion to be a true 
one, that congregations grow in time to be rather fond 
of being spoken to as very abandoned sinners; and it 
is alleged that this is the general tone among some of 
the more ignorant Methodist preachers, a tone com- 



122 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

plaeently listened to- by habitual drunkards, and other 
sinners, who never show any practical sign of being 
brought to repentance by forsaking their sins on account 
of such unceasing admonitions. 

I should, therefore, advise that, although exhortation 
be made a part of every, or nearly every sermon, yet 
it be made the whole substance of very few. It should 
ever be solemn in tone ; closely to the point, as connected 
with the subject of the sermon ; and adapted as much as 
possible to the particular circumstances of the congre 
gation addressed. But it should not be spread over a 
large space pf the sermon, lest its extension should weaken 
its strength. Of consolation much the same must be said, 
adding also that it will be oftener found in its place as an 
indirect and collateral result, rather than as a distinct 
object of preaching. 

. Sorrowing, and original composition. 

Do not let any young clergyman fall willingly into 
a habit of using other people s sermons. I say willingly, 
because there may be cases in which a clergyman is 
so oppressed with the number of sermons required from 
him, or so incapable of producing an original one of 
his own, that there is nothing else to be done but to 
borrow the best that he can for his purpose until he gets 
out of his difficulties. 

But only a humiliating incapacity for literary com 
position, or an excessive drag of preaching work, can 
relieve the habitual or frequent use of borrowed sermons 
from the just charge of dishonesty and idleness. Many 



THE MINISTRY OF GOI> s WORD. 123 

have written in justification of the practice, but they 
are generally writers who take a much lower view of 
the responsibilities of the preacher than has been taken 
in the preceding pages; and the opinion often quoted 
from Bishop Sprat seems to me to be much more con 
sistent with the true position of a clergyman as pastor 
of a parish, that " every person who undertakes this 
great employment should make it a matter of religion and 
conscience to preach nothing but what is the product of 
his own study, and of his own composing ; " nor do I 
see how any one can be of a different opinion, who con 
siders that the preaching of sermons is really a "great 
employment," and one with which both "religion" and 
"conscience" are closely concerned 7 . To use borrowed 
sermons is to evade a duty which is laid upon every 
clergyman when he is commissioned to preach. The 
congregation consider such a habit in the light of an 
imposition ; and as the discovery that a clergyman prac 
tises such a habit would bring him into contempt, so 
the suspicion of it (where that suspicion is reasonable, 
and congregations are not unreasonable or over severe 
in the matter of sermons) much lessens any legitimate 
force and influence which the suspected sermon might 
otherwise exercise. Genuineness is a characteristic to 
which we may look for power in sermons as in other 
things. The merits of a " genuine " man are far more 

7 On the other hand, Paley says in his College Lectures, " As to preach 
ing, if your situation requires a sermon every Sunday, make one and steal 
five." The plainness of his language would be its own antidote to most 
modern clergymen. 



124 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

thought of than his defects. And genuineness is also 
a characteristic, the absence or presence of which mani 
fests itself far more plainly to the congregation than 
many preachers suppose. 

Moreover, borrowed sermons often prove a very bad 
"fit," as regards the person who uses them, to say no 
thing of the same point, as regards the persons to whom 
they are preached. It has happened to me to hear an 
extremely stiff young rector, the successor of a most 
genuine archdeacon of the "old school," preach one of 
Manning s very fervid discourses verbatim; and not un- 
frequently have some of us listened to explosions of verbal 
zeal from the lips of preachers whose frigidity in the 
pulpit and elsewhere would not allow them to, explode 
their zeal in any thing but an icy monotone. 

Mishaps will, too, occasionally occur. An unfortunate 
curate of my acquaintance once preached one of the 
" Plain Sermons " in the morning, while his brother curate 
was at the chapel of ease, and had the horror of sitting 
in the reading-desk in the evening to hear the same 
discourse delivered from the same pulpit, to the same 
congregation, his brother curate being then the preacher. 
Nor is it unfrequent to find that part of the audience 
recognize sermons. I have known Bishop Beveridge s 
Sermons on the Church thus recognized, among older 
divines, and Mr. Melville s among recent writers; and 
have a clergyman also in my recollection who used oc 
casionally to be badgered by one of his flock with, 
"Very nice Dr. Hook s meditation you gave us this 
morning, sir." 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 125 

None can be content to follow such a course who have 
a high sense of the fact that they appear in the pulpit 
as the KTJ/DUKEC of God, whose work it is to "cry aloud 
and spare not," in carrying His message to the souls 
of men, teaching them His will and His truth ; saying, 
" Why will ye die, house of Israel ?" and " beseeching 
them in Christ s stead." None can be content to preach 
borrowed sermons who feel that the efficiency of preach 
ing depends on the grace of God in the preacher as well 
as in the hearer. 

There are, however, two cases in which, as I before 
remarked, such borrowing may be justifiable in some 
degree. The first case is that of the unfortunate cleric 
who finds himself so little competent for the work which 
he has undertaken to do that he cannot make a sermon 
for himself ; the other is that of the overburdened priest 
who has more sermons to preach than he can find time 
or thought to prepare. It happened to the present writer, 
in the first six months of his diaconate, to preach four 
sermons on one Sunday, and a fifth on the following Wed 
nesday. It probably happens to many, as it constantly 
did for some years to himself, to preach twice or three 
times on Sunday, and once in the week regularly, in the 
midst of other calls, such as come upon the curate in 
charge of a district numbering 10,000 souls. Cases of 
this kind are so far removed from the operation of all 
ordinary rules, that it certainly must not be laid down 
as wrong to use borrowed sermons under such circum 
stances. The necessity is so great, if written discourses 
are used, that I do not see what else the clergyman can do. 



126 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

But for each of these cases there is a remedy open. Let 
the incapable clergyman try to learn this branch of his 
calling, and with perseverance he will succeed, however 
little talent he may be blest with 8 . And for the over 
burdened clergyman, let him learn by degrees to extem 
porize his sermons, and so husband at least some of the 
time which would otherwise be taken up by the mechanical 
work of writing. 

It may, however, be objected, that if the younger clergy 
are possessed with this strong sense of the duty of ori 
ginality, their congregations are likely to hear sermons 
from some of them of which originality is a more remark 
able characteristic than depth, solidity, or soundness. To 
which I reply, that there is no reason why this should be 
so if preparation for the duty of preaching is made, as it 
undoubtedly ought to be, part of that preparation for Holy 
Orders without which no man ought to become a clergy 
man. There are now eight or more Theological Colleges in 
England, the express object of which is to give a special 
professional training to those who are about to undertake 
the work of the ministry. At Oxford and Cambridge 
there is also some opportunity, independently of these non- 
University Colleges, for candidates for Holy Orders to 
become acquainted with the duties which are to fall upon 
them, and with the manner in which they are to carry out 
those duties. It is probably the custom at all Theological 
Colleges to follow the example set by the University of 
Durham, and make the composition of sermons, and their 

8 But let him, of all things, abjure the sermons manufactured " for all 
occasions," at ninepence a week, post paid. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD*S WORD. 127 

delivery also, a regular part of the divinity student s train 
ing for at least a year before going up to the bishop. If 
this is done, the earlier difficulties of the work will have 
been surmounted before a single sermon has been required 
for the actual pulpit ; and the crude results which may be 
supposed to follow first attempts will probably have been 
thrown on the fire. At the very least, habits of com 
position must have been acquired in no small degree ; 
and some practice in that particular kind of composition 
which is necessary for sermons. And if a clergyman 
enters upon his work thus rationally prepared for it, there 
will not be much danger of his original sermons being 
extraordinarily defective either in substance or construction. 
Nor, again, is it intended to advocate such habits of 
sermon composition as discard altogether the help of 
previous writers. It is one thing servilely to make use of 
these as a child copies from its master s dictation, another 
to pass them through the digestive process of study, and 
thus assimilate them to the substance of one s own homi- 
letic idiosyncrasy and requirements : and it is the former 
habit only which I have deprecated as being idle and 
dishonest. I cannot conceive of the mere copying habit, 
that it can carry with it any measure of God s blessing for 
preacher or hearer. How could any one with an idly 
copied or lithographed sermon in his hand dare to meet a 
congregation if he truly appreciated that which is written 
in their position as hearers and his own as preacher, " Now 
therefore are we all here present before thee, to hear all 
things that are commanded thee of God ?" 



128 THE MINISTRY OF GOD*S WORD. 

Having urged so strongly the duty of ori- 
ofsermons 11 ma l composition, it may be reasonably asked 
of me, how this duty is to be carried out. The 
answer really lies in a very small compass. The recipe 
for sermon-making is contained in the one word STUDY. 
Let the preacher study theology, study human nature, 
learning to write or to speak what he has gathered in his 
studies, and little more will be needed to make his sermons 
attractive as well as useful. The uninteresting and vapid 
sermons sometimes to be heard are too often the result of 
emptiness on the one hand, or exhaustion on the other : 
in either case the result of a deficiency in the important 
duty of study. A well-read, intellectual clergyman a 
" full man," in Bacon s happy phrase can never be at a 
loss for sermon material of a solid kind, if by this twofold 
kind of study he counteracts the inevitable exhaustive 
powers of homiletic evaporation ; nor does such study 
involve any extensive range of subjects, or any extra 
vagant occupation of valuable time. Some preachers have 
indeed a happy way of bringing all their study, of what 
ever kind, to bear on their sermons ; as no one can have 
failed to observe in the case of Jeremy Taylor and South 9 . 
But good ordinary sermons can be written without so 
large a grasp of learning as was possessed by these masters 
of the art. 



9 Speaker Onslow attributes to Archbishop Sharp the saying that the 
Bible and Shakspeare made him Archbishop of York. It will be remem 
bered that St. Chrysostom, that wonderful preacher, slept with Aristophanes 
under his pillow. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 129 

For theological study the young clergyman 
will have done a great deal if in the first three 
or four years of his ministry he has carefully 
read one tolerably complete commentary on the Holy 
Bible. A complete commentary does not exist in English, 
the works which go by that name being all popular ex 
positions of a too superficial character for the purpose of 
clerical studies : we are therefore driven to look back to 
earlier times than those of vernacular commentaries. That 
of Nicholas de Lyra, a converted Jew of the fourteenth 
century , appears to have been very largely used by the 
reformers, Lyra s knowledge of Hebrew being so great as 
to make the Old Testament part of his work very valu 
able. But a later commentator, Cornelius a Lapide, 
accomplished a labour of immense magnitude in the seven 
teenth century in his commentary of sixteen folio volumes, 
probably the most complete work on the Bible ever written. 
If the clergyman is tolerably well versed in modern New 
Testament criticism, and fortified with such knowledge of 
Anglican principles as are to be gained from Pearson, 
Hooker, and Harold Browne, before taking holy orders, 
the use of a Jesuit commentary will involve no danger to 
his mind, as far as the distinctive peculiarities of Romanism 
which here and there crop out are concerned : and certainly 

1 The best of the old editions is that printed at Antwerp in 6 vols. fol. 
1634. I think, 

" Si Lyra non lyrasset 
Totus mundus delirasset," 

is a Reformation distich : though some versions have the second line, 
" Lutherus non saltasset." 

K 



130 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

no more recent writer is worthy to be compared with 
a Lapide for the laborious diligence with which he collects 
together arguments and authorities on all sides, and gives 
his readers that opportunity of judging for themselves 
which, as English Churchmen, they will wish to have. 
Such an invaluable assistant most young clergymen can 
add to their College books when they first enter upon 
clerical life ; and the sum expended on one large work 
will be less than that often wasted during a year or two 
in buying volumes of sermons for use in copying, or in the 
construction of homiletic mosaic 3 . 

The next addition to a preacher s stock of books for 
sermon studies should be the Library of the Fathers, or if 
he cannot afford the whole, that portion of it which con 
sists of the works of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Chrysos- 
tom, and St. Augustine, a store of New Testament exposi 
tion which the Reformers had at their fingers ends ; and 
which will be to the modern student also an inexhaustible 
mine of thought to be worked at the same time with the 
commentary 3 . 

I recommend these few books, because there is far more 

- There are numerous editions of the commentaries of Cornelius a Lapide, 
and the older ones may be purchased for from 61. to 10/. A new one in 
twenty-six quarto volumes has been lately published, which is enriched by 
the " Prefaces " of St. Jerome, and by many of the results of German learn 
ing. The price of it is 121. 12s., the publisher L. Vives, Paris. Mr. Stark, 
bookseller, Hull, has always a large stock of ancient and modern editions 
of Scripture commentaries, and among them of both De Lyra and Cornelius 
h Lapide. 

3 A detailed list, showing the prices of the Scripture commentai ies con 
tained in the Library of the Fathers, may be obtained of Messrs. J. H. and 
James Parker, Oxford and London. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOI) s WORD. 131 

to be gained from a concentrated attention to a few than 
from a partial or desultory perusal of many ; and because 
it will be found that habits of study will be less repulsive 
to the hard-worked pastor, if he can at once go to an 
author, or a small set of authors, who will provide him 
with material for thought on any particular portion of 
Holy Scripture which may be the subject of his sermon 
work. It is like the concentrated result of discussing a 
question in a small committee of practical men, as con 
trasted with the diffuse and irregular discussion of a public 
meeting, the best ending of which is the appointment of 
such a committee. There may be contrary motion in the 
elements of the chords in such a small array of books, but 
the result will be a sound and refreshing harmony if they 
are wisely arranged. The reader of many books, on the 
other hand, too often produces only a confused clash of 
notes, piled together in multitudinous discord. 
Nor must it be forgotten that a great aid to 

i - ,1 -11 Intellectual 

the preacher in the composition of sermons will meditation 



be a habit of thought, such as may be called a n 

Scripture. 

reverent intellectual meditation on Holy Scrip 
ture. "This reflective habit," says Mr. Bridges, "often 
supplies the deficiency of extrinsical help ; constant excite 
ment increases intellectual fertility ; the mind is brought 
to know the extent of its capabilities ; and being supported 
and strengthened by frequent exercise (to use Luther s 
words), suggests more, much more, than all our com 
mentators united. A mind thus invigorated, stamps its 
own character on all its exercises. It instinctively turns 
over and over again the matter presented to it ; apprehends 

K 2 



132 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

it in connexion and dependencies with other trains of 
thought and principles of action, and thus successfully 
adapts it to present circumstances 4 ." 

By means of such books and such habits, the sermon- 
writer will learn the depth of Holy Scripture, and avoid 
shallow, hasty expositions of it. He will not be content 
with the first result of his investigations, but will be 
rejoiced to "go wash seven times " in the stream, if he 
may draw thence the healing grace of God ; to " go look 
seven times " from the mountain top, if he may thence see 
the signs that are to guide the prophet in his course; to 
search diligently in the field, that he may find the pearl 
of God s real and priceless message to man. 

The other chief element of knowledge for the 

And from /? i i j i> xi_ 

study of purposes 01 preaching is to be gained irom the 
human study of human nature. This is chiefly to be 

nature. J 

obtained by that kind of habitual observation 
which may be called a practical anatomy of the living 
mind. A vast fund of knowledge may be gained from 
careful self-examination. It is rarely that one may not 
find a master-key to other hearts concealed in one s own 
bosom. Amidst all the varieties of the human countenance, 
the minute lines and curves formed by the millions of 
glandular apertures in the skin, all keep to the same 
general course, so that the anatomist who studies them in 
one subject knows them in all ; and the greater organs of 
the body are so seldom out of their normal position, that a 
complete knowledge of their situation acquired from the 
examination of a single cadaver would be sufficient for all 

4 Bridges Christian Ministry, p. 210. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 133 

ordinary practical purposes. Thus, to a great extent, it is 
with the study of man s moral nature also. However 
confined the field of observation may be, it will be sufficient 
for the clergyman s purpose of acquiring a large know 
ledge of motives, intentions, and the operations of man s 
mind as bearing upon his religion. If he make use of the 
opportunities daily afforded by the knowledge of his own 
inner nature, he will go far towards acquiring a knowledge 
of human nature in general ; and in his constant visits 
among his parishioners, he will be able to extend that 
knowledge as far as for the purpose of sermon-writing 
he will, in that particular parish, require. I will add a 
caution, which is to avoid using knowledge so acquired in 
such a manner as to make sermons appear personal. Such 
a caution might be thought unnecessary, but it is a 
well-known fact that Cecil, the once famous Evangelical 
preacher, used to make up the representative characters of 
his sermons from his knowledge or supposed knowledge of 
individuals in his congregation. Such a practice is unfair, 
and if the personality is at all closely carried out, it appears 
to me to be dishonourable. Besides, people recognize their 
neighbours much more readily than they do themselves in 
personifications of this kind, and so the preacher loses his 
end, but gains dislike from those who fear that their turn 
may come too, as well as their neighbours . 

. Subjects for Sermons. 

Having now stated some of the general principles which 
ought to guide the pastor in his preaching labours, I will 
proceed to make a few observations on the kind of subjects 



134 THE MINISTRY OF GOB s WORD. 

which seem best adapted for the positions that are most 
commonly occupied by the clergy. 

The range of subjects open to preachers is indeed wide 
as the page of Holy Scripture, the experience of human 
nature, and the ingenuity of preachers themselves ; but 
it does not therefore follow that it is so easy to choose 
wisely, as to make it unnecessary to think about a 
subject until the time comes when it is required for use. 
On the contrary, it will be found most useful to form a 
very definite idea, or even plan, in respect to sermon 
subjects ; and to keep a book expressly for writing them 
down in some orderly classification as they occur to the 
mind in the course of reading or meditation s . Whether 
in writing a sermon, or in preaching one without writing 
it, a definite subject (so stated as it should be if used as 
an interpretative title in print) is a guide in two ways ; 
for, first, it leads the thoughts onward to a certain end 
and purpose ; and, secondly, it keeps the writer or speaker 
" on the rails," a very important matter. 

Some writers lay much stress upon the choice of topics, 
with a view to the supposed spiritual condition of the 
hearers. This is sometimes a very important considera 
tion, but not always. The spiritual condition of our con 
gregations is necessarily varied, and it is impossible at 
any time to know from week to week what will be really 
thus adapted to any large number out of the three or four 
hundred, or two or three thousand, who may form one of 

s A book of suggestive texts is also extremely useful ; a few notes being 
sometimes appended to the text to show the line in which a happy thought 
has, perhaps, indicated that it might be worked out. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 135 

them. A choice of subjects founded on such a principle 
must be a very random choice indeed in general. Rare 
occasions may happen when it will be possible and wise 
to adopt such a course ; but these occasions will be ex 
ceptional ones, and the rule would be only a generally 
practicable one if congregations could be assorted, whereas 
they are almost always of a mixed character. 

There is more practical wisdom in such a choice of 
subjects as forms itself in faithful subordination to the 
tone of the Scriptures as they are used in Divine worship ; 
and there is room for so great a variety in a selection 
thus made, that the introduction of subjects otherwise 
chosen need only be resorted to on special occasions. 
Many preachers would probably be much surprised, if 
they have not adopted such a habit, at the satisfactory 
character of the results which flow from a persevering 
adherence to it as their ordinary plan for preaching. 

The most obvious form of such a system would, of 
course, be arranged upon the outline given by the Epistle 
and Gospel for the day. This has the advantage that 
these Scriptures are chosen with great point, and with a 
very distinct and definite reference to the seasons at which 
they occur, or to some current of doctrine which is run 
ning through a season of the Christian year. It needs 
but a cursory glance at the many volumes of " Sermons 
for the Christian Seasons," which have been published 
of late years, to see that a variety of lines may be taken 
in preaching on this plan, some more, some less directly 
obvious. It is probable that a thoughtful clergyman 
might provide himself with a four or five years course 



136 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

of sermons, even if he entirely restricted himself to the 
Epistles and Gospels for his subjects, and preached twice 
every Sunday ; for the truth of Holy Scripture is not 
only many-sided, it is also deep in its wisdom; and 
while there is gold lying on the surface, there is also gold 
lying under its surface. It is not at once or even twice 
digging that the subject of a Sunday Gospel or Epistle 
is exhausted 6 . 

6 I will put into a note, for those whom it may concern, a caution as to 
the mode of inculcating the duty of observing Christian seasons. The 
recoil of a revival has led to much exaggeration in the teaching and practice 
of some of the clergy on this point ; and an unreal kind of sennons are 
preached by them, in which theory and practice maintain their union only 
on paper. 

This has been especially the case in respect to the observance of Lent, 
and of that kind of life of which Lent is a type. To preach up a system 
of ascetic life, or contemplative devotion, to people whose duties employ 
their thoughts and time and energy throughout the day, is to preach to 
the winds. Men who are at their ledgers, behind their counters, engaged 
in the avocations of a country gentleman s life, in the government of the 
country, or in hard-working professions, cannot really pray seven times a 
day, in the same sense as David and Daniel did; or as the monks and 
hermits of old, or as leisurely bishops, like Andrewes, who never left his 
study, nor saw any one on business, until after noon. Neither can people 
whose ordinary diet is of the simplest and most sparing description fast in 
the sense of any great abstinence from food, without incapacitating them 
selves for doing their duty in that state of life to which God has called 
them. 

Our thoughts must live in the nineteenth century if we want our sermons 
to be practical and effective. Rigid abstinence from the necessaries of life 
means, in this temperate age, emaciation, and ruin of the nervous tissue ; 
which does, in fact, injure those powers of self-control and self-discipline 
that it is intended to strengthen. It was different in the days of strong 
ale breakfasts, dinners, and suppers of George Herbert s days ; and a refer 
ence to that good man s own remarks on the subject of fasting (Works, p. 
144) will show how different the "abstinence" of his day was from that 
often inculcated by modern preachers. But we have opportunity for fasting 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD*S WORD. 137 

But I do not recommend a clergyman so to restrict 
himself. I would rather urge the abundance of other 
material which also lies to his hand in the Sunday 
Scriptures, with a view to his careful consideration of 
them all. 

There are, in addition to the fixed Gospels and Epistles, 
fixed proper lessons from the Old Testament, every one 
of which will furnish one or more subjects. Thus, from 
the first lesson read upon Septuagesima Sunday, the 
preacher may discourse on the creation of the world, and 
the creation of man. On Sexagesima will come in the 
Fall of man, and the destruction of the old world by the 
flood. On Quinquagesima, the covenant of God, first, 
with Noah, and next, with Abraham. Sometimes sub 
jects abound, offering themselves for successive years. 
Thus, on Sexagesima, sermons might be preached from 
Genesis iii. on at least these themes, (1) The Fall of Man ; 
(2) Hiding from God ; (3) The promise to Eve ; (4) The 
expulsion from Eden : all so far differing from each other 
in substance that there need be no shrinking, from fear 

from luxuries beyond any former age. Theatres, balls, private parties, 
novel-reading, mere ornamental pursuits, unnecessary delicacies, sumptuous 
costume, these are things which may well be selected as the subjects of 
our abstinence, if, in Lent or in our general life, we desire to adopt a stricter 
Christian habit than is commonly necessary. 

The clergyman who adopts simply Patristic or Mediaeval rules for his 
teaching, will lead a few impressive young people, and leave the multitude 
of his common-sense hearers untouched. The one who considers the habits 
and necessities of the age in which God s Providence has placed him, will 
probably have the satisfaction of seeing Lent turned into a reality in the 
midst of busy life, and the pursuits of his congregations Christianized at 
all times. 



138 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

of repetition. Again, those lessons in which the history 
of Jacob is partly narrated furnish (by themselves, or in 
connexion with omitted chapters) a complete mine of 
homiletic material ; as may also be said of the history 
of David. There is, too, a store of such subjects, as the 
acts and characters of the various Jewish rulers and kings, 
and God s dealings with Israel, all lying straight in our 
way in the proper lessons ; and many portions of the 
prophets which will be mysterious to the congregation, 
as they listen to them year after year, unless explained 
in sermons. 

Occasionally, also, there will be a most suggestive acci 
dental concurrence of subject in the fixed first with the 
moveable second lesson. Sexagesima Sunday, with its 
account of the temptation of the first Adam in Genesis 
iii., may be on February 1, when the temptation of the 
second Adam will follow in the first chapter of St. Mark s 
Gospel; or it may be further on in the month, when 
the latter chapters of the same Gospel give the history of 
Christ s sufferings brought about by the Fall of man, an 
equally significant concurrence. Or, again, a striking 
combination may be formed between one of the lessons 
and the Gospel and Epistle, as on the fifth Sunday in 
Lent, when Exodus iii. proclaims the I AM of the Old 
Testament, and the Gospel from St. John viii. the I AM 
of the New. Or there may be some accidental pointed- 
ness and application to circumstances of current interest 7 , 

7 My readers will remember such a striking coincidence on the day of 
Charles the First s death. The king thanked Bishop Juxon for his con 
siderate choice of the twenty -seventh chapter of St. Matthew, from which 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 139 

such as occurs at Evening Service on December 24th, 
when no more appropriate chapter could have been 
chosen for a proper lesson than that which comes in the 
ordinary course of daily lessons, and which refers so 
beautifully both to the teaching of Christmas Eve, and 
also to the work of church decoration, in which those who 
are present have probably been engaged during the day ; 
" Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the 
Lord is risen upon thee." . . . "The glory of Lebanon 
shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the 
box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary ; and 
I will make the place of My feet glorious." 

A careful observation of the fixed and changing cycle 
of Sunday Scriptures will show such subjects frequently 
occurring, either in regular order or by accidental com 
bination. Nor must it be forgotten that I have as yet 
made no reference to another inexhaustible source of 
wealth for sermon subjects stored up in the Book of 
Psalms as used in Divine service. Often and often will 
one of the Psalms, or a verse of one, bring in, with the 
most pointed application to current events, such an appli 
cation as hardly any thoughtful mind can fail to notice, 
and as ought not to be passed over by the preacher. 
" Except the Lord build the house " on a Sunday in the 
midst of some national or local trouble, is a warning to 

he had read the example of our Lord s sufferings; and was greatly sur 
prised when the hishop told him it was the second lesson for the morning 
in the calendar. It is very singular that the same chapter is also the 
second lesson on the morning of the twenty -ninth of May, the day of the 
Restoration, the special service for which was framed with as direct a refer 
ence to the one event as to the other. 



140 THE MINISTRY OF GOU s WORD. 

look up to His Providential care ; or a verse so pointed 
as, " Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord. . . . His 
seed shall be mighty upon earth," on a day when England 
was laying the Prince Consort in his grave, with a respect 
and sorrow which was not unmingled with thoughts of 
the future he had won for himself and his children by 
his conscientious fulfilment of duties as in the sight of 
God. And whether or not such special applications arise, 
as they do arise continually, the five or six Psalms which 
are used on Sunday will be sure to furnish subjects appro 
priate to the season, or suggestive in themselves ; or else 
to start a train of teaching, which may for a few sermons 
supersede the choice of texts and subjects from other 
parts of Holy Scripture. As an illustration of the latter 
point, may be named the occurrence of the forty-fifth 
Psalm on the morning of Advent Sunday, when it natu 
rally suggests four sermons ; (1) The Beauty of Him who 
was fairer than the Children of Men, (2) The Power of 
the Most Mighty, (3) The Everlasting Reign of the Son 
of God, (4) The Marriage of Christ to His Church, as 
proper to the four Sundays which usher in the Advent 
of Christ to His state of humiliation. When Christmas 
Day comes, and with it this Psalm as one of those belong 
ing to it, the latter will be " sung with the understand 
ing," as it never has been before by the congregation 
who have listened to such Advent teaching; and some 
who have never thought much about the Psalms before 
may have their attention permanently fixed on their 
inestimable devotional value. 

Thus, a preacher need never complain of the paucity of 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 141 

subjects furnished him by the Scriptures of the day ; but 
may rather ask himself, is life itself long enough fully to 
avail himself of the stores which those portions alone of 
the holy Bible contain ? Allowing himself plenty of free 
dom for exceptional occasions, he will gladly adopt the rule 
which so many good men have recommended and prac 
tised; and will find it a growing source of benefit to 
himself and his people. 

With such sermons it will be quite possible to carry out 
also that excellent principle which Archbishop Seeker 
begged his clergy to adopt ; viz., that of making their 
sermons "local," or adapting some part of them in such a 
manner to the particular circumstances of the congregation, 
as to give them additional point and interest. Of such 
teaching we have the highest model given to us in the dis 
courses of our Lord. Walking through the corn-fields He 
speaks to His Apostles of sowing and reaping the spiritual 
harvest of God s field and garner ; to the multitude 
miraculously fed by Him in the wilderness, He speaks of 
the " bread of God which cometh down from heaven ; " 
when the water was borne in golden vessels from the pool 
of Siloam to the altar at the Feast of Tabernacles, He 
stood and cried, saying, " If any man thirst, let him come 
unto Me and drink ; " when He stood by the sheep-gate, 
at which the flocks passed through for sacrifice, His 
sermon was of shepherds, sheep, and the one fold ; when 
the great candlestick was being lighted up in the court 
of the temple, He directed attention to Himself as the 
"Light of the world." In the same manner, St. Paul 
took advantage of the anxious reverence of the Athenians 



142 THE MINISTRY OF GOT) s WORD. 

in the erection of an altar to the unknown God ; of the 
Isthmian games, when he wrote to the Corinthians about 
"striving for the mastery;" while, to come down to a 
later date, and a lower authority, St. Chrysostom made 
large capital of temporary circumstances when he preached 
his splendid sermons on the statues ; as he did on many 
other occasions 8 . 

Pithy and telling applications of Scripture may be 
made, by following in the path thus pointed out; and 
they will sink into the memory of those who hear them. 
So I have heard a preacher on the morning of the ninth 
Sunday after Trinity apply the lesson of Elijah s sacrifice 
to the "halting" of his own flock between the "two 
opinions" symbolized by the Church and the meeting 
house ; and on another day quaintly but effectively com 
paring the Dan and Bethel worship of Jeroboam to the 
Anabaptist meeting at one end of his parish, and the 
primitive Methodist at the other. Two parishes were 
greatly interested in a rival foot-race, which the preacher 
followed up on the following Sunday with a sermon on 
the Christian race of St. Paul. In a church on the 
borders of Dartmoor, he illustrated the parable of the lost 
sheep by reference to the wilderness country with which 
every hearer was daily familiar ; and turned the same 
locality to good account also in expounding the parable of 
the sower. In a similar manner, a club feast will naturally 
suggest the topic of " bearing one another s burdens ;" 
busy times, "man going forth to his work and to his 

8 St. Chrysostom is an admirable model for a modern town preacher. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 143 

labour until the evening;" and harvest, a multitude of 
subjects of the most practical nature in which the working- 
day thoughts of working people, and of others too, may be 
so followed up on the day of rest, as to infuse a good tone 
into their minds in connexion with the labours of the 
season, during the following six days. Nothing more 
keeps people in mind of God s continual presence with 
them, and of their general responsibility to Him for their 
working hours, as well as for those during which they are 
at Divine service, listening to the preacher. 

By adopting the extensive scheme of subjects 

J J Continual 

thus suggested, a clergyman may effectually novelty thus 
guard against a danger to which all settled * 
preaching by the same person must, in some degree, be 
liable, that of sameness and want of novelty. There will 
be an attractive freshness about all the sermons of the 
good householder who brings out of his treasury things 
new and old ; and it is not unlikely that the familiar voice 
of a pastor so diligently applying his studies to the office 
of preaching, may be far more pleasant to his flock than 
that of any stranger, however good a preacher. 

. Plain Preaching. 

What is called plain preaching very often deserves to be 
called so on that euphemistic principle which leads every 
courteous person to abstain from the use of the word 
" ugly." The idea of plainness has been carried so far 
that one may sometimes hear a sermon, in which there are 
words and figures of speech that cannot be redeemed from 
the charge of being " slang." Once I heard, to my horror, 



144 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

"Now, you boys in the gallery, I am going to tell you 
something about the devil," and the "telling" was in 
corresponding style. To mention sins, or the evil one in 
coarse language or familiar, is to lower the true dignity of 
the pulpit without gaining any real plainness of speech by 
the substitution of it for the simple, unaffected English of 
the Bible. 

A " plain sermon " is properly a sermon in which the 
ideas, arguments, and illustrations are of a character to 
be understood by imperfectly-educated people of ordinary 
intelligence ; and the language such as is mostly contained 
in the ordinary vocabulary of the class addressed. In one 
of Augustus Hare s sermons he speaks of smuggling and 
buying of smugglers, of poaching and buying of poachers. 
In another, referring to the increase of comforts among 
the poor, he speaks of tea and wheaten bread. A re 
viewer, praising this language, as being plain without 
being undignified, suggests that most preachers of that 
day would have shrunk from such straightforward ex 
pressions, and " would infallibly have warned these poor 
people on the downs against holding any intercourse with 
the nocturnal marauders on the main or on the manor ; 
and have suggested the gratitude they owed for a fragrant 
beverage and farinaceous food 9 ." This illustration is a 
very fair one ; but at the same time it must be understood 
that it is a mistake to try what may be called a " free and 
easy style," in which constant reference is made to the 

9 Quarterly Review, lix. 36. This review was written by the late Professor 
Blunt, and contains many valuable remarks on village preaching, which are 
not incorporated into his " Duties of the Parish Priest." 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 



145 



circumstances of the poor, labourers and others, as if to 
show how condescending the preacher can be. Such 
references may be made, as I have already shown, with 
great advantage on fit occasions ; but ought always to be 
made with dignity as well as simplicity. Nor should they 
be made too frequently, even if the congregation is com 
posed wholly of the poor ; for just as poor people like 
those books best which tell them about those who live in 
ranks somewhat above them, so they like to go away 
from their own special habits sometimes in sermons, and a 
constant harping upon their pursuits palls on their ears, 
and loses its force. This is an exaggeration of [plainness 
analogous to the great anxiety once shown to use " pure 
Anglo-Saxon words" in preaching, without considering 
that many Anglo-Saxon words are as Greek to the un 
educated, while many Anglo-French or Anglo-Latin words 
are part of their familiar language. In respect to language, 
indeed, there is much variation in the extent of the current 
vocabulary. London people of the labouring classes use 
and understand language of a much higher kind than do 
Devonshire labourers ; and I remember once asking my way 
of a turnpike-keeper near Cambridge, when she directed me 
to go straight forward until the roads divaricated, and 
then turn to the right. It is terribly cramping, especially 
in extempore preaching, for an educated man to confine 
himself entirely to the limited vocabulary of an out-of-the- 
way district. In such cases relief may sometimes be found 
in the use of synonymous expressions, e. g., "So our 
spiritual state is in constant oscillation, ever swinging 
backwards and forwards between good and evil." Thus 



146 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

the educated mind is satisfied with the word that naturally 
comes uppermost, and the uneducated with the idea in its 
own tongue. 

A golden rule in respect to plain preaching is to avoid 
many-syllable words as much as possible. Another is to 
use quotations from Holy Scripture freely, sometimes 
reading them out from the Bible, and at others quoting 
the substance as it occurs to the memory, being careful 
not to run into any misrepresentation of the text. A third 
is to avoid the use of the editorial " we " in the pulpit, 
and to speak naturally, of yourself as " I," yourself and 
others as " we " or " you and I," not being afraid even of 
the more strictly personal " you " on fit occasions. 

. Composition of Sermons. 

I feel so little confidence in any set of rules for the 
composition of sermons, that I shall not venture to say 
much on this particular head ; though what has gone 
before is all of such a nature as to form some sort of guide 
to the work in question. Bishop Wilkins, in his " Eccle- 
siastes," groups the essentials of a sermon under the three 
heads, method, matter, and expression ; each of which " do 
contribute mutual assistance to the other. A good method 
will direct to proper matter ; and fitting matter will enable 
for good expression." Mr. Gresley, in his " Ecclesiastes 
Anglicanus," gives a more extended plan to which the 
reader may refer, if he is desirous of testing the value of 
elaborate directions on the subject. Perhaps the concise 
triplet, Knowledge, interest, and zeal, or Know your 
subject, be interested in it, and mean what you say, con- 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 147 

tains almost all the rules that one person can lay down for 
another with advantage. For the talent of preaching is 
to be acquired not by rule, but by that careful study which 
makes a " full man," that habit of writing which makes 
an " exact man," and that habit of speaking which makes 
a " ready man ;" and the cultivation of these with a special 
direction towards the composition and delivery of sermons, 
is the only way in which any clergyman can hope to fulfil 
the duty laid upon him as a preacher, with satisfaction to 
himself or profit to his audience. 

. Extempore Preaching. 

The habit of preaching written sermons only was so 
general at no long-distant period, that if a clergyman did 
otherwise, he was almost sure to be considered a dissenter 
at heart. Yet it is probable that very few sermons were 
ever written down by the preacher himself until a com 
paratively recent age of the Church ; and the habit is 
nowhere to be found so common as in the Church of 
England. Bishop Burnet says that the 1 practice of writing 
down sermons originated in the strong party-spirit of the 
Reformation times, which made it necessary for preachers 
to have the evidence of a written page to produce in case 
of accusations brought against them by the opposite party. 
But Charles II. issued a proclamation to the University of 
Cambridge against the reading of sermons, in which it is 
said the practice " took its beginning from the disorders of 
the late times," and it is characterized as a " supine and 
slothful way of preaching," contrary to the "usage of 
foreign churches," " of the University heretofore," and to 

L 2 



148 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

the "nature of that holy exercise." It may possibly have 
been in obedience to this proclamation, that the finest 
preacher of written sermons that age produced endeavoured 
to preach extemporaneously before the king, but found 
himself so utterly wanting in words to begin with, that 
with the ejaculation, " Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner," 
he descended from the pulpit, to receive the witty king s 
compliments on his sermon of seven words, as the finest 
his Majesty had ever heard. Probably also this incident 
prompted South s verdict that extempore preaching is 
"sottish." At any rate the anecdote proves that the 
habit of using written sermons had become so ingrained 
that no royal proclamation was likely to alter it *. 

Yet there certainly is something "contrary to the 
nature of that holy exercise " in the practice of preaching 
from a manuscript book ; and an analogous habit would 
not be tolerated in any other place where men speak in 
public. It is tolerated in the case of clergymen chiefly 
because preaching is a necessity of their profession, and it 
is supposed that as very few persons in the world are 
gifted with the faculty of speaking without book, therefore 
very few clergymen will be able to do so. Something of 
the same idea used to be held with respect to the faculty of 

1 A happy anecdote is told of Sanderson and Hammond. The latter had 
persuaded the former to preach from memory to a country congregation, 
and with much difficulty the great divine boggled through a few minutes 
lecture. " Neither yon nor any man living," said he to Hammond, " shall 
ever persuade me to preach again without my books." " Good doctor," 
Hammond replied, " be not angry ; for if ever I persuade you to preach 
again without book, I will give you leave to burn all the books that I am 
master of." 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 149 

original composition in our native language ; but so many 
of the educated young people of our own day are able to 
write fluently and sensibly, that this idea is becoming 
exploded, and original composition is looked upon more 
as an accomplishment than a natural gift. It appears to 
me that the expression of ideas by word of mouth is 
likewise an accomplishment, and that it will become far 
more common among the clergy when an honest endeavour 
is made by them to educate themselves in this accomplishment 
by study and practice. It is impossible to think of the 
extemporaneous speaking of many ignorant dissenting 
preachers otherwise than as an acquired " knack." Their 
fluent speaking often extends to a thirty or forty minutes 
discourse, however few may be the ideas contained in it ; 
and it is simply absurd to suppose that educated gentlemen 
cannot acquire the same habit of speaking in public without 
book. 

The first step towards training for public speaking, and 
therefore for extempore preaching, should be analogous to 
the first step in learning to write Latin verses. It would 
be a good thing if the oratorical power of our boys was 
drawn out for a while by nonsense speeches. Certainly no 
educated man, clergyman or layman, will ever acquire in 
years of maturity, the faculty of speaking good sense 
fluently unless he is daring enough to go through a period 
of practice in which he is content to cast off self-criticism 
to the winds. He must first learn to speak easily, saying 
things the best way he can, but at all events, easily, and 
then to speak sensibly. Let him declaim to the book 
shelves in his study ; or if he has a patient wife, let her 



150 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

be the suffering audience, she will forgive and forget a 
great deal of nonsense, and he will find that after a very 
few trials he will be able to cast nonsense speeches aside, 
and try his hand on something serious. 

For a first essay at actual preaching without book, it 
will be wise to preach extemporaneously with book. First, 
let the sermon be written out as usual : secondly, let a 
marginal index be made on the blank page, more or less 
full as confidence is felt in the preacher s powers of speech, 
and taking care that the connexion between the paragraphs 
on the right, and the index on the left, is clear and sound. 
The preacher would then go into the pulpit with the 
marginal index on the left hand, as an apparatus for 
extemporizing when he felt in the happy vein for doing 
so; and with the full sermon on the right, as a solid 
resource when he felt that he could not do so with comfort 
to himself, or with edification of his hearers. At first, it 
will be well for him to attempt a portion of his sermon 
here and there ; and by perseverance in the habit, he will 
find himself gradually depending less and less on the right- 
hand page, and trusting almost entirely to the margin. 
After some months practice, he will find that he can trust 
himself to substitute a note for a paragraph in the com 
position of his sermon, and after a few months more will 
one day venture to preach with such notes alone before 
him. Perhaps he may think it wise to stop here; or 
perhaps he will find that he may as well, sometimes at 
least, discard even notes, and think extemporaneously as well 
as preach so. In my opinion, the wisest course is to use 
both ways according to circumstances, preaching from 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 151 

notes when a sermon requires argument, and doing without 
them when it is of an expository character. But whatever 
advantages there may be in extemporaneous preaching, 
they are nearly as great when the language is extem 
porized, and the ideas written down, as when both are 
given without the aid of paper 2 . 

By adopting this gradual method, I have known a 
preacher who originally depended entirely on his MS., 
and was yet able, after a few years, to go to the pulpit 
on an emergency and preach for half an hour without 
a moment s preparation, and without faltering or talking 
nonsense ; and I quite believe that such a task might be 
accomplished by any well-read clergyman of ordinary 
self-possession. 

Of the respective advantages of written and extempore 
sermons there is something to be said on both sides. 
None but a very able man indeed should venture to preach 
an unwritten sermon before a highly-educated and sensi 
tively critical audience ; while, on the other hand, any 
man of ordinary talent, who has trained himself on the 

2 Sermon notes were largely used by the famous preachers of the seven 
teenth and eighteenth centuries. Archbishop Seeker speaks of preaching 
from notes as the habit of his predecessors, and says that when well managed 
it is perhaps better than either written or extemporized sermons. Baxter 
says that he used notes as largely as any man, except when he was too lazy 
or too busy. Bishops Bull and Burnet men of opposite sides in Theology 
both used notes. Erasmus asserts that there is evidence of St. Augustine 
having done so. Neither Bull nor Burnet really needed them. Of the 
former it is told that his notes being on one occasion blown away by a gust 
of wind, he preached better without them ; and of the latter, that being called 
on suddenly to preach a consecration sermon, Archbishop Tillotson declared 
it to have been the finest he ever heard. 



152 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

plan I have suggested, may profitably preach " without 
book " to a village congregation. Every clergyman ought 
to be able to avail himself freely of both methods, and 
not slavishly to confine himself to either alone. If a very 
exact statement of any question with which he is not 
familiar should be needed, such, for instance, as of the 
Christian law of marriage, a written sermon will pro 
bably be the best, or at least full notes, even in a village 
church. But whether for such a purpose, or for ordinary 
preaching before an ordinarily well-informed town con 
gregation, much must, of course, depend on the exact 
ness and point with which a preacher is able to speak 
readily. 

That extemporaneous sermons would be best on all 
occasions I have no doubt, provided that on all occa 
sions clergymen could be ordinarily fluent and ordinarily 
exact ; and I think the exceptions must be regulated by 
these two qualities of fluency and exactness. "Whatever 
prejudice exists against such preaching, is founded on the 
very just objection which men of sense have to hearing 
preachers wander away into floods of trashy fluency, or 
boggle over arguments in which the arguer loses his logic 
and exasperates his hearers. But both of these faults 
a clergyman can guard against easily. He should acquire 
the power of expressing himself in good plain English, on 
any subject of which he has a good knowledge ; and then 
take care to fill himself with that particular knowledge 
which is required for the sermon or sermons he is about 
to preach. If these precautions were taken, the prejudice 
spoken of would naturally die away. 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 153 

There cannot be a doubt that it is a great advantage 
to a congregation to hear a sermon delivered with ani 
mation and warmth ; but these both seem and are arti 
ficial when connected closely with a written discourse 
from which the preacher dare not raise his eyes. There 
must always be nearly as much difference between the 
tone of a man speaking without book, and that of one 
reading from book, as there is between the tones ob 
servable in reading and in conversation. An amount of 
emphatic repetition (not repetition for want of thoughts 
to make variety) is also allowable to oneself in extempore 
speaking, which would offend the taste on paper 3 . And, 
still more, a freedom in the choice of words which will 
make the speaker more acceptable and more intelligible 
to his hearers. 

Again, the preacher and his hearers are more perfectly 
en rapport when he is speaking to them without reading. 
The eye has more life in it, even if the speaker is not 
consciously using it for the purpose of assisting his words. 
His attitude is such as to show that the people he is 
addressing axe first in his mind, not a little MS. book on 
the pulpit desk. The appeal is more direct, and can 
hardly fail to be more warm in manner even if the very 
words are used which would be used in reading 4 . Alto 
gether there is a more perfect feeling of "reality," a 
quality, for the sake of which many defects will be 

3 Many speeches and sermons which read well, fail in delivery to produce 
an effect on popular audiences from being too condensed. 

4 Let me add, that happy thoughts and expressions occur to the mind on 
the moment in extemporaneous preaching which no labour of thought in 
the study would evolve. 



154 THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 

condoned, in preachers as well as others, by the age we 
live in. Assuredly, an extempore sermon may be a very 
dull one, as well as a written one, but a dull written 
sermon would lose much of its dulness if delivered ex 
tempore by an animated preacher. While, if the preacher 
is a reasonably- accomplished man, if he feels what he 
says, if he says what he has to say with animation and 
spirit, it is scarcely likely that he will realize the picture 
of the country vicar drawn by Sir "Walter Scott : 

" Dry were his sermons, though his walls were wet." 

The sermons of a dull man must be dull, of an ignorant 
man, ignorant, whether they are extemporized or writ 
ten. But I feel no doubt, that of two sermons, containing 
the same ideas, and preached by the same person, one 
being delivered from ideas thought out beforehand, in 
language found on the spur of the moment, and the other 
read; the former will be far more impressive in every 
way than the latter, and more productive of spiritual 
good. 

A great advantage of extemporaneous preaching to 
the clergyman himself is the time gained. A twenty 
minutes sermon takes up about five hours in the mere 
mechanical process of writing ; and few men will be able 
to compose it in a single day, though the whole of the 
day be emploved. For two written sermons a week, I 
suppose most clergymen are obliged to reckon the better 
part of three days, if they are, as they ought to be, well 
done. But where the preacher depends on the moment 
for his language, and only requires to " think out " his 



THE MINISTRY OF GOD s WORD. 155 

sermons beforehand, he may (if a properly studious man) 
reckon a day as the utmost that will be required for 
putting two ordinary sermons into such a form that he 
can easily preach them from notes or without notes. 
If he is a methodical man, keeps a book of texts and 
subjects, a common-place book for jotting down sermon 
ideas ; and arranges his Scriptural studies so that they 
run in the same course with his preaching, far less time 
even than this will be necessary ; and perhaps the pencil 
notes of half an hour s thought will enable him to preach 
an excellent and conscientious sermon on any Gospel or 
Epistle in the Prayer Book. 

Thus the advantages of extemporaneous preaching 
are great, both to the pastor and the flock ; there is no 
reason why it should be either shallow in substance, or 
offensive in delivery; and the clergyman may as effi 
ciently and conscientiously perform his duty of preaching 
often with a small, as with a large expenditure of time. If 
he applies himself studiously, conscientiously, and with 
good taste to extempore preaching, there is no reason 
why it should not as much promote the glory of God 
and the salvation of souls in the nineteenth century as it 
did in the age of Chrysostom or Augustine. 

. Reliance on the Chief Pastor. 

Before parting with the subject, I desire to impress 
my reader strongly with the necessity of always preach 
ing in faithful dependence on the grace of God the Holy 
Ghost, given for that purpose, as well as on human 
diligence, eloquence, and method. These latter may 



156 THE MINISTRY OF GOD S WORD. 

abound, but they will need the coal from off the altar 
if they are to lead to a spiritual result, the grace of 
God conveyed thence to the preacher, kindling the grace 
of God in the hearer. That grace is so given to clergy 
men by their ordination, that they have only, as it may 
be said, to summon its presence by a faithful seeking 
it in prayer, and they will receive it. A silent ejaculation 
of the heart for this should go up from time to time in 
every sermon ; a prayer that God s Word may be truly 
and faithfully ministered by His grace given to the 
preacher, and that it may be truly and effectually re 
ceived, by the same grace, into good ground which will 
bring forth fruit to perfection. 

Above all, let the preacher ask of God, that he may 
have a right understanding of His Word, that he may 
be a faithful dispenser of it in fact as well as in inten 
tion; and to this end, also, let him live much in the 
presence of God, that by that means he may gain more 
and more knowledge of Him to convey to his flock. In 
respect to preaching, as to all other spiritual knowledge, 
our gifts must come from God ; in respect to it, therefore, 
as of other gifts, the preacher should take up the tone of 
the Psalmist s words, and after all legitimate human 
endeavours have been used, yet look to the " Light of the 
world " for the vivification of all, and say, " In Thy light 
shall we see lisht." 



CHAPTER V. 

THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

IT is essential to an efficient discharge of pastoral duties, 
that the clergyman entrusted with cure of souls should 
have definite ideas as to the requirements of his position 
as " a faithful dispenser of God s holy sacraments," as 
well as of his office as a " faithful dispenser of the Word 
of God." For " the ministration of the holy sacraments, 
in the congregation where he shall be lawfully appointed 
thereunto," is not a mere mechanical work, the whole 
obligation of which is fulfilled by a perfunctory recitation 
of certain appointed words, and performance of certain 
appointed actions. Exactness in these is undoubtedly 
necessary to a faithful ministration of the sacraments ; 
but important duties belong to the pastor as a " steicard 
of the mysteries of God;" and, without restricting the 
term mysteries (as so used) to the two sacraments, it is 
beyond doubt that they are included, and that stewardship 
is part of a pastor s duty in respect to them. 

It will be my object, in the present chapter, to offer 
a practical guide to this portion of a clergyman s work ; 
viewing the sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Com- 



158 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

nmnion as essential parts of the pastoral system; and 
treating midway of confirmation, as the link by which they 
are theoretically and practically joined together. 

It has been truly observed, that the sacraments are 
means of grace, not sources of grace; and that to make 
them sources of grace would be to put them in the place 
of Christ. No duty can well be higher on the part of 
the pastor, as regards his flock, than that of training 
them in the truth that Christ s person is the original 
fountain of Christian grace, the Holy Spirit its original 
minister, and the place of sacraments in the Christian 
system, that of means, media, by which that grace is 
administered by the agents of God the Holy Spirit ; those 
to whom the words, " Receive ye the Holy Ghost," have 
been said to that very end. To regard them, either for 
teaching or use, as more than channels by which streams 
of grace are brought down from the Fountain-head, 
would be as great an error as to suppose them less than 
the efficacia signa which they are declared to be in the 
Twenty-fifth Article of Religion ; and the pastor may have 
to guard himself and others from these mistakes both in 
theory and in practice. 

The general principle to be adopted as the 
foundation of true theory and practice respect 
ing the sacraments is, that they are the means 
by which God co-operates with man in his endeavour 
after Christian life. The grace given in Baptism places 
the person baptized in the position of a pardoned sinner, 
who begins from the time of Baptism to stand in a new 
relation to God ; being accounted His child by spiritual 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 159 

adoption as well as by natural creation, and receiving 
spiritual as well as natural gifts from Him. The grace 
given in the Holy Communion enables the Christian to 
live a Christian life by the power of God assisting him, 
which he could not live by his own unassisted ability. 
But, since co-operation of God with man necessarily re 
quires that man on his part should co-operate with God, 
therefore the Divine grace given through these media is 
not irresistible, but may be made ineffectual by unworthy 
reception of either ; the unworthy reception being also, in 
itself, a sin. 

Such a general principle respecting the Sa 
craments necessarily leads to a responsibility pensation of 

on the part of those to whom their ininistra- * ">" . 

substance in 

tion is entrusted. A sacrament is constituted administer- 
by an " outward form" and an " inward grace." 
Without entering into any theological discussion as to 
the degree in which the latter is tied to the former, 
it may be assumed that a certain ministerial responsibility 
rests on every clergyman that he faithfully dispense both 
sacraments so constituted. Firstly, in respect to those 
essentials of form and substance which are set forth in 
their respective offices in the Prayer Book , he is not at 

1 In administering Baptism, for example, it is a very imperfect way of 
currying out the sense of the Lord s injunction ^airrl^ovrts avrovs, to dip 
the fingers in the water arid sprinkle such drops an may chance to adhere to 
them upon the child perhaps upon its cap or frock. As the primary in 
junction of the rubric which literally fulfilled our Lord s command is cus 
tomarily set aside for the permission, " it shall suffice to pour water upon 
it," care should be taken that the infant s cap is removed, and water actually 
poured upon its head from the hollow of the hand, or from a silver shell, as 
is the custom in some churches. It is true that medieval writers assert 



160 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

liberty to administer them otherwise than " as the Lord 
hath commanded, and as this Church and Realm hath 
received the same ;" and he has no right to deviate from 
rules which were evidently pared down by the Reformers 
to what those learned men considered the barest essentials, 
and which have been so considered by the most learned 
men of later days. And, secondly, he is also responsible 
in respect to the persons to whom the sacraments are 
administered, that they are such as are intended to receive 
the same, whether for admission into, or establishment in 
the body mystical of Christ. Of these several particulars 
it will be convenient to treat more in detail under the 
head of each of the two sacraments separately. 

. Holy Baptism. 

Among the rules of the Church of England 
aP " res P ectin g Hol y Baptism, the first that meets 
us is the one which directs that it is to be ordi 
narily administered in time of Divine service "upon 
Sundays or other holy days." At one time it had become 
very common for this sacrament to be administered in 
private houses whenever the parents wished that it should 
be so ; and few children, except those of the poor, were 
brought to Church to be baptized in the last generation. 
In our own time private baptisms in houses are exceptional, 
and seldom take place for any other reason than dangerous 
illness ; but although the rule of the Prayer Book is so 

the validity of Baptism if even a single drop of water accompanies the 
words ; but there is no necessity for reducing the quantity used to the very 
verge of pretence. 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 161 

far complied with that children are brought to the Church 
to be christened, it is still very common for christenings 
to be performed on week-days, when fewest persons are 
present at Divine service ; or at some time on Sundays when 
there is no congregation present except those who have 
come to act as sponsors. 

The title of the service is, however, " The Ministration 
of Public Baptism of Infants, to be used in the Church;" and 
the rubrics state in detail some forcible reasons why the 
practice of the Church should agree with this title. " The 
people are to be admonished, that it is most convenient 
that baptism should not be administered but upon Sundays, 
and other holy days> when ihe most number of people come 
together ; as well for that the congregation there present 
may testify the receiving of them that be newly baptized 
into the number of Christ s Church; as also because in 
the baptism of infants every man present may be put in 
remembrance of his own profession made to God in his 
baptism. For which cause also it is expedient that baptism 
be ministered in the vulgar tongue." And in the rubric 
preceding the service for private baptism, " the curates of 
every parish " are ordered to warn the people that " without 
great cause and necessity, they procure not their children 
to be baptized at home in their houses." And still 
further to secure the presence of a congregation, the 
service for baptism is appointed to be used in the midst 
of Morning or Evening Prayer, after the reading of the 
second lesson. 

The two reasons stated in the rubric are in themselves 
deserving of such respectful attention as should ensure 

M 



162 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

obedience to the rule, even if there were no others. But 
it may also be said, in addition, that the public minis 
tration of baptism is much calculated to strengthen the 
halting faith of our people in the reality of the ordinance ; 
that a familiarity with the words of the service will open 
out to them a flood of meaning which otherwise they would 
fail to see in other parts of the Church system ; and that 
each ministration of the sacrament is a sermon to the eye 
and ear of the congregation which makes it less needful 
to urge its necessity upon them as the parents and 
guardians of children, and teaches by devotion instead of by 
controversy. Any inconveniences which may arise from 
the practice of really public baptism are trifling when set 
against such great advantages ; but perhaps the only two 
actual inconveniences that could be named are, the 
additional length of the service, and the want of suitable 
arrangements in some of our overcrowded churches, where 
pews have elbowed the font into an obscure corner 2 . 
The service will certainly be much increased in length 
when the number of baptisms is large ; and in extreme 
cases, such as the great churches of London and manu 
facturing towns, it might be expedient to consider the 
afternoon service as one so especially set apart for baptisms 
that no sermon follows the prayers. Where baptisms are 
only occasional this inconvenience is hardly worth a 
thought, considering the greatness of the benefit gained ; but 

2 Not always pews. A friend was restoring his church some fifteen years 
ago, when the architect requested leave to remove the font, a very large 
one of black marble, that he might substitute " a neat little basin which 
would not occupy any room." 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 163 

even then the additional length of the service may easily 
be balanced by a few minutes taken from the sermon. 
As to the other objection to public baptism, all that can 
be said is, that the law of the Church is very plain, that 
very good reasons are assigned in the law itself why it 
should be obeyed, and that there are other special reasons 
applicable to our own times; and consequently, that a 
clergyman placed under circumstances which are so un 
favourable that he cannot carry out this rule of the 
Church, ought not to rest satisfied until he has procured 
authority and means for making the necessary changes. 
In the early part of the last century, Bishop Bull said in a 
charge to his clergy respecting the practice of " hiding " 
baptism, " If private baptism (cases of necessity excepted) 
may be allowed, away with the fonts in your churches ! 
What do they signify ? To what purpose are they there ?" 
and his words may suggest a necessity for reformation 
even in our own day 3 - 

Although, however, public baptism in time p^ vlAe 
of Divine service is the ordinary rule of the Baptism. 
Church, provision is made for "the ministration of private 
baptism of children in houses ; " and the clergyman who 
wishes to act both according to the spirit and the letter of the 
Prayer Book will often be placed in a position of some doubt 
and embarrassment by requests for such private baptism to 

3 It is better not to use an ordinary domestic vessel for private baptism. 
I have always used a silver shell (above five inches across) mounted on three 
dolphins, which was formerly a salt-cellar. It is gilded inside, and seems a 
suitable pattern of a vessel for the purpose. The silver " fonts " made are 
not suitable, as the water cannot be conveniently poured on to the child s 
head from them. 

H 2 



164 TPIE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

be administered in cases where there seems to be no such 
" great cause and necessity " as is contemplated by the 
rubric. This is chiefly to be found among the poor and 
labouring classes in town-parishes, among whom the 
number of sickly infants is certainly very great, though 
the private baptism of many new-born children is desired 
when there is no sickness in the case. Several causes 
exist to make even the irreligious poor wish for the baptism 
of their children. Most burial clubs make it a rule not to 
pay the burial money for those that have not been bap 
tized, and thus the rule of the Church as to the absence 
of religious ceremony in the burial of the unbaptized has 
come to be more generally known. Parents are, therefore, 
averse on both grounds to leaving their children un- 
christened, who would be wholly indiiferent about it other 
wise ; and often send for the clergyman to the house 
for no other reason than that they wish to get the for 
mality over as soon as possible, that they may be free 
from any anxiety. Such cases are clearly not within the 
range of the rule of the Church, as to " great cause and 
necessity." 

At the same time, the Sixty-ninth Canon is very strict 
in requiring the clergyman (rector, vicar, or curate in sole 
charge as their substitute 4 ) to baptize every infant in 
danger of death, and enjoins a severe punishment for 
neglect in this particular. " If any minister, being duly, 
without any manner of collusion, informed of the weak 
ness and danger of death of any infant unbaptized in his 

4 Curates to resident rectors were all but unknown until the last sixty 
or seventy years. See Appendix A. 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 165 

parish, and thereupon desired to go or come to the place 
where the said infant remaineth, to baptize the same, 
shall either wilfully refuse so to do, or of purpose, or of 
gross negligence, shall so defer the time, as, when he 
might conveniently have resorted to the place, and have 
baptized the said infant, it dieth, through such his default, 
unbaptized ; the said minister shall be suspended for 
three months." The clergyman is therefore bound to 
administer baptism privately, in case of real necessity, 
as much as he is bound not so to administer it unless such 
necessity is real. And, experience having shown that 
there is " collusion " or pretence of necessity in these 
days as there was when the Canon was made, he is bound 
to use his best discretion in distinguishing the cases 
where real " danger of death " exists from those in which 
there is no such danger. In some instances, the "col 
lusion " may be detected by a little questioning as to the 
actual reason for wishing the child to be baptized ; or by 
the absence of medical attendance, showing that no 
danger is supposed to exist, a circumstance which,, if 
combined with healthy appearance of the infant, is almost 
a certain guide. But far the safest plan is, to require 
a certificate from the medical attendant in any doubtful 
case, the moral effect of the knowledge that it will be 
required being quite as valuable in its results, as the 
assurance thus given to the clergyman that he is doing 
his duty. 

The pastor of a large parish has often also 
to determine, and perhaps without much time 
being given for deliberation, on the course 



166 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

which it is his duty to take with respect to children not 
baptized by himself, but alleged to have been baptized by 
some other person ; and a conscientious mind will be 
anxious to guard (1) against a repetition of the sacra 
ment when it has been duly administered already " as the 
Lord hath commanded, and as this Church and Realm 
hath received the same;" or (2) against an omission of 
the sacrament altogether, by a too easy conclusion that it 
has been duly administered. 

The line which he is to take in such cases is clearly 
indicated by the exact questions in the service for Private 
Baptism ; when, " if those that bring any child to the 
Church, do answer that the same child is already bap 
tized," he is directed to " examine them further," by 
asking the four questions, 

" By whom was this child baptized ? 

" Who was present when this child was baptized ? 

" With what matter was this child baptized ? 

"With what words was this child baptized?" 
But this is the language of scientific theology, and I have 
never been able to obtain satisfactory answers to these 
questions without first rendering them into current Eng 
lish s . They show, however, very clearly what the prin 
ciples of the Church of England are in respect to the 
essentials of baptism, being followed up as they are by 
the final rubric of the same office, which directs the 
conditional form of words to be used if such uncertain 

s I have actually found old women, (nurses and midwives,) contuse bap 
tism and vaccination. It is very rarely that uneducated people understand 
baptism and christening to be synonymous. 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 167 

answers are given to " the priest s questions, as that it 
cannot appear that the child was baptized with water, In 
the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost, (which are essential parts of baptism,)" &c. 

The question, whether such baptism is invalid, and to 
be repeated, if not administered by a clergyman, has been 
largely argued in the courts of law during the present 
century ; and in the well-known cases of Kemp v. Wickes 
(1809), before Sir John Nicholl; of Mastin. v. Escott, 
before Sir Herbert Jenner (1841); and an appeal from 
the latter, in which Lord Brougham gave the judgment ; 
it has been decided in the negative. Archbishop Lau 
rence, and other authorities, had previously written 
against the idea that a clergyman was absolutely the 
only lawful minister of baptism, in all cases ; and the 
former says, " it was always the doctrine of the Reforma 
tion that the element of water alone, united to the form 
of words prescribed by our Saviour, constituted true 
baptism 6 ." Thus, the substantial matter on which the 
pastor has to make inquiry in such cases is, as to whether 
the child, brought for admission into the Church or for 
Christian burial, has been lawfully baptized by any 
person ; and he must consider a Dissenting preacher, a 
surgeon, or any other lay person as a lawful minister of 
this sacrament. I have received many certificates of such 
baptisms, in cases where infants, of whose names I had 
no record in the register, were brought to me for burial ; 

6 Laurence on the Doctrine of the Church of England on the Efficacy of 
Baptism. Part II. p. 117. See also Maskell s " Holy Baptism," pp. 189 
252, for a complete consideration of this question. 



168 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

and of these I subjoin a few, printed (verbatim et literatim, 
names excepted) from the originals, as offering good illus 
trations from several points of view of the subject before 
us. It may be stated that they come from a district 
in which there are probably not more than 500 or 600 
confirmed Church people out of 4000 inhabitants, and in 
which there are two small churches, holding about 200 
persons each, and seven meeting-houses ; the mother 
church, some distance off, being situated in the midst of 
another 4000. 



1. From a Local Preacher. 

This is Certify that Marg* , Child alfort was duely 

Baptized by me 

Step" - 

Minister of the Cosple 



2. From a Wesleyan Minister. 

The child of Thomas was duly Babtized by me 011 

the 29 th of May 186-. 



Rich d 



Wesleyan 
Minister 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 169 

3. From a Surgeon. 
Dear Sir 

The Child of Benj was Christened by me 

according to the form in use amongst Surgeons here 

Yours truly 

J 

Rev. Mr. Blunt. 

4. From a Local Preacher. 

Certificate of Baptism administered with water, in the 
Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost, 

This is to certify that William Son of Percivel and 

Mary , of And was Baptized on the 3 Day 

of November. 

Matthew 

Primitive Methodist 
Local Preacher. 

5. From a Local Preacher. 

Moor. 

This is to curtfye that I babized Mr. Robert s 

child on the 26 of September 186-. 

James . 



170 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 



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THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 171 

Although it is much to be wished that all children were 
baptized by the clergy, yet it is manifestly desirable that 
while irregular baptisms are so frequent as they are, 
the proper way of working them into the system of the 
Church is to adopt some such plan as these certificates 
indicate ; and I think, also, that they tend to promote 
a careful administration of the sacrament in such cases. 
"With a certificate like that on the opposite page, there 
need be no hesitation as to admitting the child into the 
Church without the conditional form of baptism. Without 
any certificate there would be much room for doubt whether 
"some things essential to this sacrament may" not 
" happen to be omitted," through ignorance, carelessness, 
or indifference. 

The public administration of baptism will 
go far towards exhibiting to the people its its relation 
proper place in the Christian system, and when to P storal 
that place is recognized by any, they will gladly 
and reverently avail themselves of the sacrament for their 
children at as early a time as possible ; but there is much 
ignorance on the subject, and it will form a part of the 
pastor s labours to instruct his flock in the spiritual value 
of baptism, as a means of grace wherein God pardons 
the original sin which clings to us in our natural birth, 
and draws us into an union with Christ, the maintenance 
of which is the work of all the subsequent life of the 
baptized. " A minister," says Bishop Burnet, " ought to 
instruct his people frequently of the nature of baptism, 
that they may not go about it merely as a ceremony, as 
it is too visible the greater part do ; but that they may 



172 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

consider it as the dedicating their children to God, the 
offering them to Christ, and the holding them thereafter as 
His ; directing their chief care about them to the breeding 
them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord/ 
The more this is impressed upon parents, in sermons and 
in private converse, the more ready will they be to bring 
their children to be made the children of God. The 
reality of God s love, and of His mysterious work in this 
sacrament, may be set forth without at all entering into 
controversy; the terms of the baptismal service itself 
being sufficient ground on which to build. And if, by 
thus setting forth God s love for the little children whom 
He has commanded to be brought unto Him, the pastor can 
wean his flock from looking upon the Christianing of their 
children as a mere " naming " them ; if he can persuade 
them that by that ordinance those children are taken 
into His care in some special manner which must give 
a birthright and a blessing to them, even if they should 
afterwards cast these away; then it would be felt that 
they were as much bound to provide for the baptism 
of their little ones, as they are to provide for their bodily 
wants; and that although only the clergyman can be 
punished by man for wilfully neglecting to baptize them, 
yet God cannot but visit on the parents a like neglect 
on their parts, in the cruel withholding from them of a 
blessing which He is ready to bestow. 

The pastor himself will naturally be anxious to secure 
early baptism for all the children of his flock. The rubric 
enjoins him to "often admonish the people, that they 
defer not the baptism of their children longer than the 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 173 

first or second Sunday next after their birth ; " but custom 
has fixed the time at about the fourth, when the mother 
is also able to come to her Churching, and to be present 
at her infant s baptism 7 . Beyond that time delay should 
not be knowingly allowed without remonstrance ; although, 
of course, in very populous parishes the clergyman will 
not know of all, or nearly all, cases of such delay. But 
he will always rejoice at early baptisms, in the conviction 
that he is then putting the little ones of his flock into 
God s hands, whatever their future may be; and that 
he is laying the foundation of the Christian life at a 
period of natural life when God s work on the soul can 
meet with little or no resistance for some time from the 
will of man. He will feel that he is originating the 
material, so to speak, of his pastoral work; forming a 
nucleus, around which parental and school instruction, a 
pastor s care, and confirmation, are to gather; and that 
he has added one more to the number of those respecting 
whom he trusts to take up the words of his Master and 
say, " Behold I, and the children whom Thou hast given 
me," the lambs whom Thou hast commanded me to feed. 

. Confirmation. 
The convenience of systematic arrangement induces 

7 It has been found extremely useful in promoting early baptisms for a 
set of " Christening clothes " to be provided, or several, which are to be 
lent out on the return of the bag or box connected with the Lying-in Club. 
It should be simple, but better than mothers of the class can generally 
provide. I have known a country parish where these Christening clothes 
were almost as established an institution as the ancient Chrisom; and 
certainly every one would wish to see children dressed in white when 
brought to the font, rather than in the coloured clothes often used. 



174 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

me to take the subject of Confirmation under review 
immediately after considering that of Holy Baptism, and 
before considering that of the Holy Communion ; for it 
forms the natural link between the two in the pastoral 
system as carried out by the bishop and his subordinate 
pastor. But confirmation has always been accounted the 
complement of baptism from the earliest ages of the 
Church " : it seems, therefore, natural to include it in 
the chapter which is devoted to the consideration of 
that sacrament as part of the pastoral work and respon 
sibility. 

The special duty devolving upon the paro- 
firmation n ~ chi&l clergy, in respect to this ordinance, is 
very clearly set down in the Sixty-first Canon. 
"Every minister that hath cure and charge of souls, 
for the better accomplishing of the orders prescribed in 
the Book of Common Prayer concerning confirmation, 
shall take especial care that none shall be presented to 
the bishop for him to lay his hands upon, but such as 
can render an account of their faith, according to the 
Catechism in the said book contained. And when the 
bishop shall assign any time for the performance of that 
part of his duty, every such minister shall use his best 
endeavour to prepare and make able, and likewise to pro 
cure as many as can to be then brought, and by the 
bishop to be confirmed." 

8 Canon LX. says, " It hath been a solemn, ancient, and laudable 
custom in the Church of God, continued from the Apostles times, that 
all bishops should lay their hands upon children baptized, and instructed 
in the Catechism of Christian religion, praying over them, and blessing 
them, which we commonly call Confirmation," &c. 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 175 

The effect of the Reformation upon the office for con 
firmation, as administered in the Church of England, was 
to bring out more prominently into view that inherent 
part of the ordinance which rests with the person to be 
confirmed, the ratification of the baptismal vows 9 . In 
early ages of the Church, the rite was administered at the 
time of, or very soon after baptism, both to infants and 
adults. But the confirmation of infants appears to have 
been growing less common in the times before the Re 
formation, three and seven years being mentioned in 
synodal decrees of the thirteenth century as the period of 
life beyond which it was not to be delayed. The Re 
formers abolished the confirmation of infants, and sub 
stituted the " Order of Confirmation, or laying on of hands 
upon those that are baptized and come to years of dis 
cretion;" declaring that "the Church hath thought good 
to order, that none hereafter shall be confirmed, but such 
as can say the Creed, the Lord s Prayer, and the Ten 
Commandments ; and can also answer to such other ques 
tions, as in the short Catechism are contained." 

" Children now come to the years of discretion, and having 
learned what their godfathers and godmothers promised 
for them in baptism." In making this provision, it is 
clear from the detailed history of the change that the 
Reformers did not by any means intend to depress the 

9 In the earlier Prayer Books the expression now printed "ratify and 
confirm " was " ratify and confess." It need hardly be pointed out (except 
that the mistake has been so frequently made), that a person is not con 
firmed by their ratification of the baptismal vows. The kind of parono 
masia in the use of the word " confirm " is not uncommon in the Prayer 
Book. But such ratification is made a necessary preliminary. 



176 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

exhibition of the rite as a means of grace. What the 
laying on of hands had been in the ages preceding " con 
tinued from the Apostles times," as stated in the Sixty- 
first Canon, that it was still to be esteemed, but the rite 
was only to be administered to those who were of age to 
receive it with understanding. 

This feature of Reformation action has been 

Modern con 
struction of carried much further in recent times than it 
the law, dif- . 

ferent from was carried by the Reformers ; and one strik- 
persons who * n S an( ^ painful consequence has been the dimi- 
madeit. nution of the number of young communi 
cants l . The Reformed Church maintained its ancient 
practice of not administering the Holy Communion to 
any except those who were either confirmed or ready 
and desirous to be so ; but the age of sixteen years was 
considered to be the latest time at which persons should 
first receive it, and the Reformers must therefore have 
intended that confirmation should take place at some time 
before that age. Thus, the 112th Canon enjoins that "the 
minister, churchwardens, quest-men, and assistants of 
every parish-church and chapel, shall yearly, within forty 
days after Easter, exhibit to the bishop or his chancellor 
the names and surnames of all the parishioners, as well 
men as women, which being of the age of sixteen years, re 
ceived not the communion at Easter before." And since 

1 After a confirmation in the Eastern Counties, seven or eight young 
people attended at the Holy Communion. Their attendance was so unpre 
cedented, that some of the old communicants actually began to sign a 
memorial to the clergyman requesting him to forbid it, as the communion 
was meant for old, not young people. This idea is seldom carried so far, 
but it is latent in the minds of many. 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 177 

Confirmations are expressly ordered by the Sixtieth Canon 
to be performed according to the custom of "former 
ages " " every third year," this shows that so early an age 
even as twelve or thirteen was not considered too early for 
it to take place. This was, in fact, the actual age stated 
in the interpretation of Queen Elizabeth s injunctions 
which was drawn up by authority about 1559 ; in which 
it is directed, " That children be not admitted to the com 
munion before the age of twelve or thirteen years, being 
of good discretion, and well instructed before 3 ." Arch 
bishop Grindall enjoined " all above fourteen years of age 
to receive in their own churches the communion three 
times at least in the year 3 ." The same age is also to be 
found mentioned in Articles of Inquiry of later date, down 
to about the time when the administration of confirma 
tion became so infrequent in the last century. It is clear, 
therefore, that the " years of discretion " required in 
candidates were supposed by the Reformers (even in 
those days of scanty education) to be reached at twelve or 
thirteen, perhaps the earliest age at which the generality 
of children could then " say the Creed, the Lord s Prayer, 
and the Ten Commandments in the vulgar tongue, and be 
further instructed in the Church Catechism set forth for 
that purpose 4 ." In modern times, however, we often 
see confirmation delayed until young people have grown 
to be seventeen or eighteen years of age, or even older 
But if, as the first preface to the office stated, " Con- 

2 Cardwell s Documentary Annals, i. 206. 3 Ibid. i. 336. 

4 At the moment of writing, a little boy is learning his Latin lesson at 
my table, who certainly comes up to this standard of religious knowledge> 
though not yet ten years of age. 



178 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

Keturn to firmation is ministered to them that be bap- 
Refonnation tized, that by imposition of hands and prayer 

construction 

of the law they may receive strength and defence against 
all temptations to sin, and the assaults of the 
world and the devil," these young persons are deprived 
for some years of a means of grace in confirmation, and of 
the higher grace of the Holy Communion at a time of life 
when they are passing from the innocency of childhood 
to the fuller capacity for, and knowledge of, sin. As 
this is a most critical period for the physical constitu 
tion, a period in which the healthiness of after-life is 
settled, or the seeds of disease sown for future develop 
ment, so it is a critical time with our spiritual nature, 
when not only the care of parents and teachers is needed, 
but also the grace of God in its fullest available measure, 
to guard, strengthen, and develope the Christian faculties. 
Let the pastor, then, impress upon parents and God 
parents, the urgent need their children stand in of the 
help of God as well as of their own care and guidance ; 
and let them bring before them the true reason for which 
confirmation is administered : let them tell the whole 
truth about the Holy Communion, that it is a means of 
grace, and not only a mark of Church fellowship, and he 
may hope that they will be more ready to " bring their 
children to the bishop to be confirmed by him," that thus 
they may (without parting with their own responsibilities, 
which they cannot do) once again give those children up 
into God s hands at the outset of their responsible life as 
they gave them up before, when they brought them to 
Christ in their baptism, according to His command. 



THE MINISTRY OV THE SACRAMENTS. 179 

In carrying out his duty towards the children 
of his flock, the clergyman will endeavour to 
use the practice of public catechizing as a very * lon fo . r con 
efficient means of constant preparation for con 
firmation. The title of the Catechism, " An Instruction to 
be learned of every person, before he be brought to be 
confirmed by the Bishop," shows the intimate connexion 
between catechizing and confirmation, since the learning 
of the formulary in question is the foundation of cate 
chizing, and begun some years before it is perfectly known. 
One chief use of catechizing is, indeed, that it is a frequent 
anticipation of that ratification of the baptismal vow which 
is to be made formally before the bishop. Each time the 
child replies, " Yes verily ; and by God s help so I will " 
keep those promises that were made in my name at my 
baptism, it makes a solemn profession before the Church 
of God ; and should be made to understand the force of the 
expression, "by God s help so I will" the very form of 
the pastor s own ordination vows. If public catechizing 
is practised, the clergyman will find himself amply repaid 
by the results, and those results will show themselves 
prominently at the time when it becomes his duty to enter 
on a more direct and immediate preparation of the children 
for confirmation. I have already recommended that a 
private manual should be compiled by the clergyman 
himself as an aid for carrying out this important duty in 
church or school, and some works are referred to in the 
Jfoot-note, which will much assist him in doing so 5 . 

* The two most comprehensive works on the Catechism are the Bishop of 
Tasmania s (Russel-Nixon) " Lectures Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical," 

N 2 



180 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

The immediate and more definite work of 

Definite pre 
paration for preparing candidates for confirmation, should 

be directed towards three principal ends : (1) 
Systematic instruction in Faith, Duty, and the subject of 
Confirmation ; (2) The origination of habits of prayer 
and self-examination, such as are suitable to the life of 
those who are entering on the more perfect Christian 
walk, and are ceasing to be mere children in religion and 
responsibility ; (3) Instruction in the doctrine of the Holy 
Communion, and actual preparation for the reception of 
that Sacrament. 

The clergyman will find his work simplified if he keeps 
a register of his candidates in which to note their names, 
ages, attendance, progress in the course of instruction, and 
such other particulars as he may think advisable. They 
should also be desired to use a special prayer, such as this : 

To be said at your prayers erery Night and Morning until 
the Confirmation, 

Lord and Heavenly Father, enable me, I beseech 
Thee, to prepare for Confirmation, by earnestly endeavour 
ing to live as a faithful child of God, and to learn the 
things I am required to know : that when the hands of 
Thy servant the bishop are laid upon me I may receive 
the full benefit of his blessing, and be made fit for a 
further measure of Thy grace, through Jesus Christ our 
Lord. Amen. 

and Mr. Isaac Williams two volumes of Sermons. Bishop Nicholson s 
Exposition is also valuable. St. Cyril of Jerusalem s Catechetical Lectures 
ought to be studied by every Catechist. 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 181 

It will be very advisable, also, to test the knowledge of 
the candidates, and to practise them in the clear expression 
of it, by means of one or two examination papers, which 
should be taken home, and answered carefully in writing. I 
subjoin two specimens of such papers, which have been 
found to answer : 

1 . Why do you wish to be confirmed ? 

2. Who will confirm you ? 

3. How will he do it ? 

4. What benefit do you expect to get from Confirmation ? 

5. Between what two holy ordinances is Confirmation a 
link? 

6. In what "state" does the Catechism say you were 
placed by the Sacrament of Baptism ? 

7. What is to make you more firm in that state ? 

8. What other holy ordinance is required to give full 

effect to the benefits of Confirmation ? 

9. What persons are fit to be confirmed ? 

10. What confirmed persons are unfit to receive the Lord s 

Supper. 

11. Do you intend to receive it at once, or not ? 

12. Why? 

"QUESTIONS 

FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE TO BE CONFIRMED. 

1. Why do you wish to be confirmed ? 

2. What is the meaning of Confirmation ? 

3. What is the use of Confirmation ? 



182 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

4. Was it the custom of the Apostles to confirm those 
who were baptized ? 

5. What outward sign did they use ? 

6. What blessing followed their use of this ordinance ? 

7. Can you bring any text from the Epistles to show 
that this practice is according to the Word of God ? 

8. What blessing do you expect from the use of this 
ordinance ? 

9. Is it the real desire of your heart to renounce the 
world, the flesh, and the devil, to live as a child of 
God, a member of Christ, and an inheritor of the 
kingdom of Heaven ought to live ? 

10. What do you mean by renouncing the world ? 

11. What by renouncing the flesh ? 

12. What by renouncing the devil ? 

13. By what power do you hope to be enabled to do this ? 

14. What do you mean by believing in Christ ? 
15* Do you believe in Him ? 

16. What proof have you to give me that you do believe ? 

17. What is the work of God the Holy Ghost in Baptism ? 

18. What is the work of God the Holy Ghost in Con 

firmation ? 

"MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS, 

" Anxious that you should understand the nature of 
Confirmation, and reap the full blessing of it, I wish you 
to consider these questions before you come to me. Some 
of them you may be able to answer, and some not : after 
all it will be the feeling with which you come, your state 
of heart, rather than your being able to give correct 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 183 

answers, which will weigh most with me : an honest answer 
to the ninth question, for instance. I trust you will come 
without fear, remembering that if I should even see cause 
to advise any of you to wait for another opportunity 
(which I trust I shall not have occasion to do), it would 
merely be in my affectionate care for your souls. 

" Commending you to the Lord, who is able to build you 
up and give you an inheritance among them that are 
sanctified, and entreating Him that a blessing from on 
high may rest upon you in this matter, I am, 

" Your affectionate Minister, 



On the confirmation day itself the candidates should be 
assembled in their own church, (if possible,) a prayer said 
for God to " prevent them with His grace " in the work 
of the day; and a last word spoken on the subject of 
reverence and order. The clergyman and his wife should 
then respectively take charge of the boys and the girls, the 
lady seeing to the convenience of the latter in respect to 
disposal of bonnets, and putting on caps. If they can 
return in the same order, and end the day with a quiet 
treat at the parsonage, before or after Evening Prayer, so 
much the better, as the whole day will then come under 
the eye of the clergyman, and the temptation to mere 
holiday-making will be avoided. 

Much has been said about the difficulty of 
keeping a hold upon young people after they 
have been confirmed ; and evening schools and 
Bible classes have been recommended for the purpose. 



184 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

These are very good in their way, and the latter are espe 
cially valuable ; but they have no direct reference to 
Confirmation, or what they have bears rather on the time 
preceding it than on that which follows. The most firm 
hold upon the confirmed is to be gained by a faithful adhe 
rence to the spirit of the Church of England, which makes 
Confirmation a preparation for the reception of the Holy 
Communion, and supposes the latter to be received as soon 
as the former has been administered. I will not enter 
upon any discussion as to the age at which it is safe for 
the confirmed to come to the Lord s Table, because I really 
do not see how that question can be open to discussion 
after Confirmation. Every person is confirmed for the 
express purpose of qualifying them for admission to the 
number of communicants ; and if the clergyman has not 
brought most of his candidates to a fit state for such 
admission, they are hardly in a fit state to swell the list of 
those he takes up to the bishop. A modern bishop has 
written to his clergy on this subject as follows, and his 
words undoubtedly express the tone of the Prayer Book 
and of the Canons which speak about Confirmation. 

" Confirmation ought in all cases to be regarded as a 
preparation for an immediate partaking of the Holy Com 
munion, and I shall be ready to receive as candidates any 
who desire at once to communicate, and whom you judge 
to be sufficiently matured in the Christian life to be fit 
and worthy communicants. Whilst I would not have you 
make a promise of attending the Communion a condition 
of receiving a ticket for Confirmation, the existence of 
such an intention, formed on right grounds, is what should 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 185 

chiefly guide your own decision as to the fitness of your 
candidates. I wish you to present to me no others, under 
the age of sixteen. Nor should you admit them then, 
unless you have a good hope that they will come to Con 
firmation with intelligence and sincerity of heart V 

The pastor will scarcely ever recover such an oppor 
tunity for preparing communicants if he loses it ; and there 
is too sad a probability that those who do not begin the 
habit of regular communion soon after Confirmation, will 
grow up indifferent to it until a much later period of life 7 . 
In this, as in all other matters concerning his ministry, 
the pastor should have faith in God, and try to com 
municate his own reverent trust to parents and the young 
people themselves. Believing that the grace of God is 
given in the ordinances provided by Him for its trans 
mission, they will believe that it is more potent than 
any human agency or will in settling the hearts of young 
Christians in the way of holiness. Let him pray earnestly 
for them that all dangers of unworthy reception may 
be removed, and that the promised blessing of the sacra- 

6 I may also quote Archbishop Whately. " It is of great importance . . . 
that those confirmed should have the earliest possible opportunity of attend 
ing at the Lord s Table, and should be earnestly pressed to avail themselves of 
it at once." Parish Pastor, p. 280. Archbishop Whately considers such an 
early attendance the best security against wrong ideas on the subject of the 
Eucharist. 

7 The alleged " thoughtlessness " of young people is much exaggerated. 
Prof ane frivolity would certainly be a legitimate reason for pausing before 
coming to the Lord s Table ; but short of this, I cannot see why the natural 
hilarity of youth should be considered so. There is often far more of holy 
innocence combined with it than with the self-possessed gravity of maturer 



186 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

ment may be given to them ; and then let him endeavour 
to preoccupy the ground of their hearts with the grace 
of God and the love of God, that being as strong men 
armed, they may keep the goods in peace which He has 
bestowed upon them. Let him speak to them, and act 
towards them, in the spirit of one who knew well both 
his Master, and that Master s little ones: "Ye are of 
God, little children, and have overcome them ; because 
greater is lie that is in you, than he that is in the 
world." 

. The Holy Communion. 

In coming to the consideration of the Holy Communion, 
in its relation to the subject of the present volume, I feel 
so much difficulty, on account of the controversial atmo 
sphere in which the Church has been involved of late years, 
that I must restrict my remarks almost to a bare state 
ment of the leading features of the pastor s duty in respect 
to it; trusting that the outline thus given may be sug 
gestive of further thought to the reader. 

The place occupied by this Sacrament in the Church 
of England s pastoral system is to be deduced from the 
Prayer Book and the Canons; the statements of the 
Articles further defining certain points of doctrine which 
do not now come under our notice. 

A general review of the whole service, and 
CommulLn ^ ^ rubrics belonging to it, will show that 
an av&nvn- the double aspect of all ministerial acts must 

ais. 

be carefully remembered in the consideration 
of the Sacrament from this pastoral point of view. 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 187 

Thus its celebration is to be undertaken, not only as a 
work that looks towards man, but also as one looking 
towards God ; an Eucharist, or " sacrifice of praise and 
thanksgiving," which we pray God "mercifully to ac 
cept," as well as the offering of " ourselves, our souls and 
bodies." It is a solemn ava juvrjatc to Him on behalf 
of His people, as well as a solemn KarayyeXia of the 
Lord s death by those who "eat that bread, and drink 
that cup." 

It is to this principle that we must trace the rule of 
the Church which, enjoining that " in cathedral and col 
legiate churches and colleges, where there are many 
priests and deacons, they shall all receive the Communion 
with the priest every Sunday at the least, except they 
have a reasonable cause to the contrary," evidently con 
templates a celebration of it even more frequently than 
"every Sunday," in places where the diocese is repre 
sented, (as in cathedrals,) or where many of those engaged 
in the ministerial service of God are gathered, as in 
colleges of clergy. The most solemn ministerial work 
done by the Church on earth, and that in which she 
draws nearest to the throne of God, is to be done thus 
frequently, not only for the benefit of those who partake 
of the Communion, but also that this memorial of Christ 
may be frequently presented to God as the most fer 
vent and solemn of all devotional acts that can be ren 
dered. 

And, as provision is made by the Prayer Book for the 
celebration of the Holy Communion on all " Sundays and 
Holy Days," if there are " four (or three at the least) to 



188 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

communicate with the priest," so this principle should be 
kept in view by the pastor as one which very much 
concerns both himself and his flock, and should be at 
least one reason for using such frequent celebrations. 
When the pastor prays God in this most solemn of all 
devotional services to " inspire continually the Universal 
Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord," 
and to grant that all they that do confess His holy Name 
may agree in the truth of His holy Word, and live " in 
unity and godly love," it is impossible for him not to 
remember especially that portion of the Universal Church 
which is committed to his charge. So with his petition 
for those who are " in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or 
any other adversity," whether part of " this congregation 
here present," or in their own homes. "Thy servants 
departed this life in Thy faith and fear," for whom "we 
also bless God s holy Name," naturally includes those 
who are near and dear to the memory of both pastor and 
people, quite as much as the saints of God in more distant 
times and places. And we should certainly miss one 
most admirable and prevailing use of the Eucharistic 
service, from which these words are quoted, if we failed 
to make a particular as well as a general application of 
it in the spirit in which it is written, and in reference 
to the pastoral work in which Christ s ministers are 
engaged. 

Looking at the Holy Communion also as a 

of S gracc? ai me a n 8 of grace, it must be the earnest wish 

of every faithful pastor that he and his flock 

should gain as much benefit as possible from it to help 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 189 

them forward in their Christian life. If, therefore, he is 
sure of always having the requisite number of communi 
cants, it is his duty to celebrate the Holy Communion 
whenever he thinks it his duty to say the first part of the 
service ; and he will consider this part of the service as, in 
fact, marred of its most important feature if it is not made 
part of an actual celebration 8 . 

It is quite unnecessary for me to say any thing of the 
pastor s duty in urging his people to become communi 
cants, and to communicate frequently, as this is the object 
which every earnest clergyman sets before himself in the 
training of souls for a closer walk with God. Not so very 
long ago one might hear clergymen argue that frequent 
communion was not contemplated by the Church of Eng 
land, urging the law that every parishioner is required 
to communicate three times a year only, and restricting 
themselves to celebrations at Christmas, Easter, and 
Whitsuntide, in practical agreement with this theory. 
Such a dry and legal view of this holy Sacrament is 
rapidly becoming extinguished, and few clergymen are 
now satisfied with a less frequent celebration than every 
month, as few consider that the objects of communicating 

8 The principle thus stated is now very commonly allowed, and adopted. 
Many years ago it was revived by Mr. Howels at Long Acre Chapel, where 
there was a weekly celebration of the Holy Communion until his death. 
I am not aware when, or on what principle, the monthly communion was 
substituted for the weekly one in our parish churches. Perhaps it ori 
ginated in the decline of practical religion after the Great Rebellion. If 
weekly communion had not unfortunately, and untruly, been supposed to 
be a " party -badge," (it is sad to be obliged to write the word on such 
a subject,) it would have been much more generally revived than it has 
been. 



190 THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS. 

are fully attained by their parishioners if they present 
themselves at the Lord s Table only on the great festivals. 
But, in reality, it has always remained on the face of the 
Prayer Book, that " the curates shall diligently from time 
to time (but especially in the time of pestilence, or other 
infectious sickness) exhort their parishioners to the often 
receiving of the Holy Communion of the body and blood 
of our Saviour Christ 9 ;" and the spirit of this injunction 
is conspicuous in every part of the devotional provision 
made by the Church for the celebration of the Holy 
Communion. Such also will be the spirit of all, pastor 
and people alike, who look to the grace of God as the real 
foundation of holy living ; and who depend upon that 
grace for the continued maintenance of their spirituality, 
and not on occasional excitement of their feelings 1 . 

No doubt the increase of practical religion among us 
of late years is very much owing to a more true appre 
ciation of, and reverence for, the Holy Communion. It is 
no longer degraded by being made a political test, and 
ever since that degradation passed away it has been 
gradually becoming more commonly used as a means of 
grace. Such a continuous increase in the number of com 
municants in any single parish may be taken as a safe 
index to the reality of the work which is being done by 

9 Rubric to " Communion of the Sick." 

1 An excellent book for giving away among the half-instructed portion of 
the people is, "The Holy Communion, its Nature and Benefits, with a 
Notice of some common Objections to receiving it, &c.," by the Rev. 
W. II. Ridley, Rector of Hambleden. It, is published by Mozley, and by 
Hamilton, Adams, and Co., and contains 120 pages of valuable explanatory 
and devotional matter for the cost of a few pence. 



THE MINISTRY OF THE SACTCAMENTS. 191 

the pastor of it ; and he will be constantly working to 
wards this end, as the truest way in which he can draw 
his people towards the Good Shepherd, and feed them 
with " the bread of life which cometh down from heaven." 
The number of communicants is, however, far short of 
what it ought to be ; and I feel convinced that two prin 
cipal reasons are reserve and want of knowledge. In 
special cases an excellent preparation for the Holy Com 
munion would be made by previous presence on several 
occasions, without communicating, before coming to a final 
decision. But the number of faithful communicants would 
be largely increased if more instruction was given in the 
way of definite and individual preparation as well as in 
sermons. Such instruction is needed by three classes of 
persons ; (1) Those who are coming to their first Com 
munion ; (2) Those who have communicated before, but 
have long ceased to do so ; and (3) those who are in doubt 
or fear through supposed unfitness or real hindrances. 
Instruction of this sort requires much tact and discretion ; 
but if well managed, it is attended with the happiest 
results. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

THERE are some points in which the practice of the clergy 
of the Church of England falls far short of the standard 
set up in the Canons and the Book of Common Prayer ; 
but in pastoral visitation, and especially in the visitation 
of the sick, their practice has exceeded that standard. 
There are two reasons for this. One is, that the circum 
stances of our population, and the rapid growth of it 
without a commensurate increase in the number of clergy, 
has drawn out a higher development of the missionary 
spirit than was ever known in the Church of England 
before ; the other, that the political necessities of the 
Reformation times, which necessitated great restrictions 
upon the clergy in their private ministrations, are en 
tirely unknown in modern days, clergymen being univer 
sally supporters of order and the existing government 
of the land. 

The definite law of the Church on the sub- 

The Law. . 

ject of Visiting the Sick is to be found in 

the Sixty-seventh Canon : " When any person is danger 
ously sick in any parish, the minister or curate, having 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 193 

knowledge thereof, shall resort unto him or her, (if the 
disease be not known, or probably suspected to be in 
fectious,) to instruct and comfort them in their distress, 
according to the order of the Communion Book, if he 
be no preacher ; or if he be a preacher, then as he shall 
think most needful and convenient." There is also an 
office for the Visitation of the Sick, and the Communion 
of the Sick, the former being mainly a translation of the 
Ordo ad Visitandum Infirmum, and the De Extrema 
Unctione of the pre-Ileformation Church ! ; and it seems 
intended to comprehend the pastor s duty to the sick or 
dying members of his flock wholly within the bounds of 
this office. 

Our modern interpretation of the obligations 
belonging to the parochial clergyman takes a 
much wider range, and is founded rather on 
the general principle of the Ordination vow " to be ready 
with faithful diligence to use private monitions and ex 
hortations to the sick as need shall require and occasion 
be given," than on the Canon and Office referred to. For 
there are a multitude of aged, infirm, and invalid persons 
towards whom need requires and occasion is given for 
using such monitions and exhortations, for whom no direct 
provision is made either by the law or the devotional 
services of the Church. And, whether or not it be as I 
suppose, that the practice of the modern Church of England 
has expanded in the direction of these persons far beyond 
the sixteenth and seventeenth century theories, it is cer<- 

1 The ceremony of unction was inserted in the 1549 Prayer Book, and 
omitted from all subsequent revisions of it. 



194 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

tain that a pastor of the present day finds himself by the 
almost universal consent of clergy and laity bound to carry 
his ministrations into their houses ; and that although he 
is generally authorized to use such visitation by his ordi 
nation vows, and by the committal to him of the cure 
of souls, he is thrown very much on his own resources 
as to the detailed manner in which it is to be carried 
out. 

It is a most important and a most difficult work, and it 
is not to be wondered at that many books have been 
written for the purpose of facilitating its proper accom 
plishment. But it is a work, after all, which can only 
be done well by the clergyman who has so used books, 
that like the learned and skilful physician of the body 
he can rise above them in his ordinary practice I shall 
not, therefore, attempt to add this chapter to the number 
of manuals which have been published on the subject, 
but shall endeavour to condense into as small a compass 
as possible the general principles on which a pastor will 
find it expedient to build in carrying out this duty. 



There are, in practice, very few who act 

U P to the letter of tne Canon and Rubric, by 
giving notice of their sickness to the minister 
of the parish. Yet, in practice, a diligent pastor is almost 
sure to hear of as many sick persons as he can well attend 
to. lie should, however, make it thoroughly understood 
by his parishioners that he wishes them to acquaint him 
with all cases of sickness that mav seem to be of a serious 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 195 

kind, and especially when the persons are Church people. 
In the Ordination statement of the duties of the diaconal 
office, one of them is said to be that of searching for the 
sick people of the parish, that their names may be given 
to the curate ; and this duty may fairly be carried out by 
some of the laity whose avocations carry them into house 
holds, and who may thus co-operate in the practical work 
of the Church. It does not fail to become known if a 
pastor is a ready man at visiting his parishioners ; and 
willingness to go on his part will be met by willingness to 
acquaint him with cases needing his care, and to receive 
his visits, on the part of his flock. 

His visiting list will comprehend three principal classes 
of persons. First, the infirm and aged, who are unable 
to go to church. Secondly, those under some temporary 
sickness, either of a short duration or of a character that 
entails retirement from the active work of life for some 
weeks or months, as in the case of broken limbs. Thirdly, 
those whose illness is of such a kind as to preclude ex 
pectations of recovery, as in the case of a sudden mortal 
sickness, or a long and lingering decline. 

. Aged, infirm, and invalid persons. 

There will be a number of persons of this description 
in every parish, who are either entirely confined to the 
house, or so much so as to be unable to attend Divine 
service. Among them a few will be found who have 
been accustomed to value the means of grace, to go to 
church regularly, and to receive the Holy Communion; 
a few others, who have been as regular at the meeting- 



196 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

house, but (as is almost invariably the case) look to the 
clergyman for the " consolations of religion," when they 
are laid by; and others, again, who never had much 
thought about personal religion until the passing away 
of health and strength and the advance of old age re 
minded them of death, and of a world beyond the grave. 
It is obvious that a stereotyped system of treatment would 
put some of these into a false relation with the pastor 
as the guide of their souls ; and it will be necessary for 
him so to distinguish between them and between the 
various modes which he uses in dealing with them, that 
he may be as a " wise householder, giving to each their 
portion of meat in due season." Ilis object towards the 
first-named class will be to supply at home, as far as he 
can, that which they cannot, as formerly, come to church 
to receive there. The second class he will endeavour 
to lead upward to a higher religious life than they have 
been accustomed to formerly. With the third he will 
have the difficult and almost hopeless task to try, of 
breaking up, and turning into good soil, the ground 
which has been indurated by the sin of early life, the 
unrepenting forgetfulness of mature years, and the self- 
satisfied indifference of old age. 

To the first and most hopeful class, it is a 
people* 1 great comfort to hear the familiar words of the 
Church services, which come upon their ears 
with a happy ring of accustomed devotion that one tires 
of as little as of the face of a dear and life-long friend. 
It will, therefore, be well for the clergyman to adopt 
these, as far as he properly can, in his prayers with such 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 197 

persons, using the collects freely, and especially (ac 
cording to the time of his visit) the collect of the day, 
with the second and third at morning and evening prayer. 
It is also desirable to fall into a habit of using portions of 
the services as a definite office, in something like the 
following order : 

The Confession. 

" God, whose nature and property." 
The Lord s Prayer. 

The Versicles. 

One or more Psalms of the day. 
The Gospel of the week, or one of the Lessons of the day. 

The Creed. 
The Lesser Litany. 

The Suffrages. 

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Collects. 

A Benediction. 

In such an office, both the constancy and the variety of 
the Church s prayers will be fairly represented ; and there 
are none of them included which there need be any scruple 
about using in a private house. At the same time, the 
position of Holy Scripture, Psalm, Lesson, or both, may be 
made the subject of an exposition which will be to the 
infirm person s home what the sermon is to the Church 
with its public service. The clergyman may be able to 
visit each of such regular Church people once a week, 
there will not be many of them, but whether he can 
do so thus frequently or not, it should be understood that 
he comes for the purpose of using such an office as that 



198 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

indicated, which will be quite as suitable for the educated 
as for the uneducated among his infirm parishioners 2 . 
Where he has any lay assistants in the parish, he should 
direct them to follow in the same course ; putting into 
their hands some good books, in which Holy Scripture 
is well and devotionally explained, such as Mr. Young s 
" Daily Headings for a Year on the Life of our Lord 
and Saviour;" Mr. Isaac Williams s books on the Life, 
Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord; and 
others of a similar kind. But, as a general rule, prayers 
should not be offered by lay assistants ; or, at least, they 
should usually be restricted to the collect, " Blessed Lord, 
who hast caused all Holy Scriptures," before reading; 
and after, the Lord s Prayer and the third collect at the 
end of the Communion Service, " Grant, we beseech 
Thee." To many the " Christian Year," and good hymns 
will be very acceptable, and these also may well be used 
by lay assistants, men or women. At certain intervals 
the Holy Communion should be administered to such 
persons as I am speaking of; and they will often have 
a desire to receive it on some special day, their birth-day, 
the anniversary of a death, or some other such domestic 
memorial day, as well as at the seasons of Christmas, 
Easter, and Whitsuntide. I do not think it should be 
administered very often in private houses ; but infirm 
persons ought to be instructed and trained in a habit of 
observing the time of its celebration in church, and 



2 Lonely old people among the infirm poor arc much comforted by ;ni 
evening visit, in which they may be helped with their evening pniyers. 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 199 

associating themselves with it then by solemn retirement 
and prayer. 

Such a Church tone of private ministrations 
, , , i . i .11 i Dissenters. 

as has been here described, will not be appre 
ciated by old people who have been Dissenters all their 
working lives; or, at least, not until they have been 
gradually brought to it little by little. It will be better, 
therefore, in ministering to them, to use extempore 
prayers and addresses freely ; in the latter giving at 
tention to such elementary instruction in Christian truth 
as is too often necessary with Dissenters, and in the 
former endeavouring to draw them, on to a habit of 
saying the Lord s Prayer and the Amens in a responsive 
way, so as to do away with the mischievous notion of 
listening to the prayers only, and introduce that of joining 
in them. 

With the third class the visits of the clergy- 

? Indifferent. 
man will be chiefly for the purpose of leading 

them to repentance; and care should be used, while 
every thing is done with love and tenderness, not to let 
the tone of exhortation or prayer give an impenitent 
person the impression that he or she is in a better spiritual 
condition than that in which the pastor honestly believes 
or knows them to be. 

. Temporary Sickness. 

The peculiar nature of the relation between pastor and 
people requires him to exaggerate, if one may so say, 
some of the offices of ordinary friendship. Thus he will 
often find it well to make kindly calls upon his parish- 



200 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

ioners at a time of temporary indisposition, although 
no direct occasion exists for the exercise of his pastoral 
office. Among the middle classes, especially, this kind 
of attention is much appreciated ; and as it draws closer 
the bonds of attachment between them and himself, it 
cannot be looked upon as time wasted. A clergyman 
is, in fact, required for the sake of his work to do many 
things personally which as a layman he would do, if 
at all, by the agency of a servant or messenger ; and he 
thus gains, probably, a better acquaintance with an inac 
cessible portion of his parishioners, and lays the founda 
tion for more definite and profitable pastoral intercourse. 

But there is a class of temporary sick- 
Uses to be nesses, such as accidents, which offer oppor- 

niiiue or 

times of t unities for more direct work. Men who are 

temporary 1111- i 

sickness. engrossed by the business or other pursuits 
of life at ordinary times are, under such cir 
cumstances, compelled to retirement ; and there is just 
enough of weakness, and perhaps of pain, to suggest to 
their minds quiet thoughts of the mortality of one part 
of their nature, and the immortality of the other ; and 
to make them open to religious impressions for which 
the intense bustle of life at other times leaves no room. 
Much advantage may be taken of such opportunities 
by a clergyman who watches for them, and uses them 
with tact. They may be made a means of weaning the 
invalid man from bad habits, so as to give him a dis 
taste for them when they are again within his power ; 
for checking the covetousness which is so commonly 
the result of busy commercial life ; for arousing the con- 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 201 

sciousness of an inner kingdom of God in those who 
see nothing but the mere human side of life. If the 
invalid is an intellectual man, his conscience may be 
indirectly reached through conversation or books, which 
will set him thinking out religious subjects for himself, 
when any direct attack on it might be repelled with 
indignation. In these days, when theological books 
of a certain class are fashionable and form the subject 
of conversation in society, it may even be possible to 
persuade such a man to look into current topics of con 
troversy for himself more thoroughly than men of much 
occupation ever do ; and to work out truth from original 
sources, instead of taking " doubts " without question 
at the hand of others. Or, again, among all classes 
such temporary retirement from active occupations may 
be urged as an opportunity for more constant attend 
ance at church, if possible ; and be made a means of 
drawing the person on to a better knowledge of the place 
which our Christian life holds in relation to our world-life. 

Many, also, who have been accustomed to 
the regular use of religious privileges, will be ^^ 
glad, if in such temporary retirement they are tirement 
obliged to be absent from church, to have 
their clergyman with them for such a definite purpose 
as in the visits I have already spoken of to the per 
manently infirm. A few will be found who will desire to 
make a temporary sickness which thus compels them to 
retire for a time from the business of life, an occasion of 
extra devotion and Scripture study ; a kind of religious 
" retreat " in which they may strengthen their spiritual 



" se 



202 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

energies, and take fresh breath, as it were, for their 
renewal of the Christian warfare. This being the highest 
use which can be made of such occasions may be taken as 
the ultimate point to which the clergyman s endeavours 
should tend in his private monitions and exhortations to 
those whose sickness is evidently not unto death. 

. Mortal Sickness. 

The majority of cases in which the ministrations of the 
pastor are actually sought for, will be those in which, 
from the verdict of the medical man, or the impressions of 
relatives, or the conviction of the patient himself, recovery 
appears to be beyond reasonable expectation ; cases either 
(1) of some rapid disease which brings death within the 
prospect of a few days or a few hours, or (2) long and 
gradual processes of slow decay, as by the weeks and months 
of consumption. There is no royal road by which to 
bring about a sound death-bed repentance ; and therefore, 
although a more prompt and decisive action is required on 
the part of the pastor where the time is short than where 
it is long, he must necessarily take the same general line 
in dealing with mortal illness under either phase ; and 
I will endeavour to sketch out this with general reference 
to the slow or the rapid mortality which may attend the 
cases of the several classes of persons who are likely to 
require his assistance. 

1. First come those who have religious con- 
ofTeliVriou Dictions and principles, and whose habits of life 
Church have been in subordination to them. Of these, 
sonic will be regular Church people, others 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 203 

either wholly, or in part, Dissenters. In either case, the 
object in view is preparation for death : and in either 
there are required two principal things, a careful review of 
the dying person s standing-point with relation to his past 
life ; and a drawing closer of the union between Christ 
and the soul preparing for its departure. 

With well-instructed, habitual Church people. 

.,, . . Use of the 

it will be best to proceed as soon as possible, Visitation 

after one or more preliminary visits to the use 
of the Office for the Visitation of the Sick; making it 
plainly refer on the one hand to repentance for the past, 
on the other, to preparation for the future. This office 
need not necessarily be gone through completely at one 
visit. Perhaps it may be desirable to go no further than 
the Creed in the first instance, allowing some interval of 
time to elapse, which the sick person may employ in 
definite recollectedness with respect to the past ; and this, 
whether the absolution is desired by him, or whether the 
analogous collect which follows it in the office is to begin 
it on the subsequent occasion. Strict examination of con 
science is undoubtedly desirable in preparing for death, 
and one chief use of the pastor s visit to dying chambers 
will be to assist the sick and dying in this examination, 
and to take care that no soothing self-deceptions be prac 
tised which shall hinder the real approach of the soul to 
God. At such a time the " special confession of his sins " 
to which the sick person is to be " moved " by the minister 
will prove infinitely valuable ; and, in some form or other, 
is as certain to be resorted to by every sincere penitent, as 
it is to be suggested and encouraged by every one, lay 



204 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

person or minister, who endeavours to guide the soul 
onward to a peaceful sense of pardon and rest 3 . 

When the Visitation Service has been once 
completely used it should not be repeated ; but 
it should be followed up by the Communion for 
the Sick, administered with special reference to God s 
gracious forgiveness of sins to the sick person, and to His 
support in death. Subsequent visits, up to the immediate 
approach of death (when the special prayer for the depart 
ing ought to be offered), may be of the same character 
with those previously spoken of when treating of the infirm ; 
special circumstances being noticed, and taken account of 
in the selection of Scriptures, exposition, and prayer. It 
need hardly be said that the Psalms, and perhaps the 
daily lessons will be like daily food to a dying Churchman ; 
and if he cannot read them himself, they should be 
regularly read to him by some of his family or by Chris 
tian friends. 

2. In dealing with religious Dissenters under 
Death-beds 
of religious similar circumstances, while the objects to be 

attained are the same, the mode of reaching 
them must be modified. A wilful schismatic should cer 
tainly not be considered entitled to the privileges which 
he has wantonly slighted until his schism has been made 
the subject of repentance ; and he has been, so far as he 
can be, reconciled to the Church. But there is more of 
habit than wilfulness about most religious Dissenters ; and 
the chief difficulty of the clergyman will be to bring them 
out of a religious system in which self is made the centre, 
3 See Chap. VI II. fur further remarks on this subject. 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 205 

into one in which Christ is so. There are but few instances 
of this kind in which the Visitation Office can be used 
with advantage, or in the spirit in which it is framed ; 
and, as in all pastoral dealings with Dissenters, I should 
recommend a free use of extemporaneous prayer and expo 
sition ; basing it, indeed, as far as may be, on the prin 
ciples of the office. 

3. At the opposite pole to the first class Deathbeds 
mentioned are those who have lived regardless of irreligious 
of religion, but seek the aid of the clergyman, 
or have it sought on their behalf, through fear of death. 
To bring about the conversion of such persons on a dying 
bed, whether the time of illness be long or short, i. e. to 
give them convictions of sin, and to reconcile them to God, 
is the clergyman s hardest task ; but it is not always an 
impossible one 4 . If they are of an indolent, unimpressive 
nature, having no aspirations after heaven, and yet ex 
pecting somehow or other to escape hell, they are indeed 
difficult to arouse. If they are of that self-righteous class 
who think it meritorious to " feel quite comfortable " 
because they have no consciousness of ever having done 
wrong or been " worse than their neighbours," it is very 
hard indeed to break down their self-complacency, and 

* One cannot but feel how prompt and definite a course is necessary for 
the clergyman who has to minister to persons called out of the world at a 
very short notice; as for example, the dying on a field of battle, or the 
many cases of fatal accident from machinery and other causes, which leave 
an interval of an hour or two of consciousness, but no time for any detailed 
repentance. One seems to want, in such cases, to pass over all else, and 
hold up the cross of the dying Saviour to the eyes of the dying sinner as his 
only hope, but a hope that he may rest on, as did the dying thief at Calvary. 
There can be little danger, then, of encouraging self-righteousness. 



206 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

show them the naked truth about their hearts and lives. 
Yet it is absolutely necessary that these, and all who have 
been living in alienation from God, should be brought to a 
conviction of sin, if they are to be reconciled to Him before 
they die. It is of no use to go on good-naturedly hoping 
for the best about them, if the duty of a faithful pastor 
is to be done towards them. He must labour earnestly to 
set before them the magnitude and hatefulness of the sin 
which could only be cured by the death of the holy Jesus ; 
and further, to convince them that their own sins of act 
and will are of that hateful nature in the sight of God, 
that they can never have His love until those sins are so 
repented of that the sinner himself ceases to place a bar in 
the way of forgiveness or the pouring out of God s love in 
Christ. In thus labouring, let the pastor be real, truthful, 
and honest. If the sinner goes into the presence of his 
Judge after all with a deceived heart, let it be the pastor s 
part to say, " I am clear of the blood of all men." Let 
him, therefore, do all that lies in his power, first with 
extreme gentleness, then, if necessary, with a gradually 
increasing severity, to lay before the dying sinner the 
awfulness of carrying sins unforgiven before God. Let 
him also try to find out the particular character of the 
sins of which the dying person has been guilty, that the 
ground of attack may be narrowed, and close application 
used instead of vague generalities. Otherwise he may all 
the while be aiming wide of the mark, and leave the con 
science unstricken to the last. 

All this requires tact, knowledge of character, patience ; 
and even more than these it requires a love for Christ s 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 207 

lost sheep, and an earnest desire to restore them to Him. 
It is in vain, moreover, to expect success in the conversion 
of sinners, even when the terrors of death are upon them, 
without personal holiness, faith in Christ s assisting hand, 
and constant prayer for His guidance. To impress others 
with a conviction of sin we ourselves must feel sin s sin- 
fulness. To lead others to the cross of Christ we ourselves 
must have learned the way thither. To exhibit in the 
eyes of the dying the love of the Good Shepherd who 
longs to carry them home on His shoulders rejoicing, we 
as His pastors must show something of that love shed 
abroad in our hearts, and constraining us in the work of 
our ministrations. 

"When a person of the class w T e have been contemplating 
is really brought to a conviction of sin, it is probable that 
much honest confession of sin will have been made while 
that conviction has been growing ; and he is thus brought 
within the range of the principles on which the Visitation 
Office is founded, whether or not the particular case may 
be such as to make its use advisable. It will require much 
discrimination to carry out the spirit of the injunction 
which bids the pastor exhort the sinner "where he hath 
done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends 
to the uttermost of his power," and more especially in 
commercial communities where such injuries take multi 
tudinous forms, and actual amends are often utterly im 
possible. Yet it is clear that a solid repentance must often 
require the accompaniment of an honest intention or wish 
to make amends for wrongs done, and this is a particular 
which must not be overlooked. This step having been 



208 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

reached and passed, no prayer can then be more suitable 
for the purpose of marking the act of repentance, and of 
offering it to God, than the collect, "0 most merciful 
God," which follows the absolution in the Visitation 
Office. After which it will be the object of the pastor to 
maintain the awakened spirit of the penitent in its now 
healthy state as the body decays day by day, and to lead 
him on by the same path in which he would lead those 
whose condition from the beginning of his attendance 
upon them had been that of sinners reconciled to their 
God. 



No doubt it causes clergymen much sadness to look 
back on many labours of the kind I have been sketching, 
and to reflect how much of them have been labour in vain. 
Not a few of those he has attended have recovered their 
bodily health, and in proportion have lost the spiritual 
health which they seemed so surely to have gained. When 
they thought they were dying they exhibited what appeared 
to be true penitence, and a hearty desire for living closely 
with God : when they recovered, all their old life began 
again, and their repentance proved but an episode in their 
course of sin. 

Yet there may be more good done than the clergyman 
knows of. It is not in vain that the Scripture has said, 
" Cast thy bread upon the waters : for thou shall find it 
after many days." The pastor should not lose sight of 
such persons, but endeavour over and over again to revive 
in them the recollection of those days when they " did run 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 209 

well." He should remind them with a loving and gentle 
but yet solemn warning, of what they resolved on when 
they thought themselves about to die, and of what they 
are doing now the time has come for them to put their 
resolutions in practice. 

Nor let the clergyman be discouraged by this frequent 
kind of relapse into the thought that if his labour was 
in vain for those who have survived it was also in vain 
for those who have died. Such sick-bed or death-bed 
repentance may be too weak to bear the rough usage of 
temptation, as many have felt, and prayed in that feeling 
for the mercy of a removal from the evil to come, but it 
may have been sincere while it lasted. And if the sick 
person was removed by death while in this penitent state 
of mind, the pastor may hope that the Good Shepherd has 
crowned His work and said to His friends and His neigh 
bours, the saints and angels of heaven, " Rejoice with Me, 
for I have found My sheep which was lost." 

. Some general rules about Visiting. 

1. It is of importance that the pastor should visit sick 
people as a clergyman, with the understanding that he 
and they are placed in a position of responsibility towards 
each other. " I shall be glad to see any Christian friend " 
is a not uncommon response, if he attempts to draw out 
the feeling of sick persons among the middle classes re 
specting his visits. But it must be made clear to them 
that he comes, not as an ordinary Christian friend (though 
that in its highest sense), but as the pastor of the flock, 
and the authorized messenger of God to their souls. The 

p 



210 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

old Scriptural habit, enjoined in the Visitation Office, of 
saying, " Peace be to this house," is much calculated to 
promote such an understanding of the pastoral character 
of his visits, but it cannot be promiscuously used with 
advantage. Manner and tone will go far. 

2. The best time, (according to the habits of the family, 

or of the locality,) should be chosen for visiting the sick ; 

that every advantage may be gained. Very early in the 

day is almost always a time of bustle in a sick chamber, 

eleven o clock being generally the earliest time at which 

even the Holy Communion can be suitably and quietly 

administered. Sometimes, too, attention must be paid to 

the varying conditions of the sick person at different times 

of the day, as they would be able to give little thought to 

pastoral exhortation in the midst of severe pain at one 

hour, when at another they might be usually asleep ; and 

at a third in a state of rest in mind and body which would 

be most suitable for the clergyman s visit. An inquiry or 

two put to the attendants or friends will soon furnish him 

with the necessary information. It is very desirable that 

the visit should be at times when the room will be free 

from crowding, as sick rooms sometimes are crowded witli 

six or seven sympathizing friends or relatives; and at 

least once, a private interview should be insisted on to give 

opportunity for the sick person to communicate spiritual 

difficulties, or for an examination of conscience to be made ; 

such as could hardly be done in the presence of others. 

Whenever, indeed, friends are present, judgment should 

be exercised as to the continuance of the visit, or its 

postponement to another day. Sometimes they are known 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 211 

to be restless, impatient, controversial, or otherwise in the 
way ; and yet it may not be easy to request their absence. 
Others, again, are anxious to remain, listen, and join in 
prayer, with a real desire to do so as Christian friends who 
are seeking the same end as the pastor himself. 

3. On the first visit, and perhaps often afterwards, 
some little time must be occupied in making acquaintance 
with the sick person s spiritual condition, and acquiring 
a kind of pastoral diagnosis of the case. Much depends 
on this, for, of course, the clergyman must endeavour to 
adapt his ministrations to each variety of case with care 
ful watchfulness. When this diagnosis has been formed, 
the ordinary method of conducting a visit will be by (a) 
reading a Psalm, or other portion of Holy Scripture, 
chosen, not at random, but with special application, at 
least, to God s dealing with men in afilicting, correcting, 
pardoning, and comforting them. But the judicious use 
of Holy Scripture will often enable the pastor to make 
way with the conscience ; and he should set before him 
self as an important point, the acquisition of a tact in 
choosing such portions of the Word of God as may thus 
minister almost as if God Himself were speaking to the 
conscience. (/3) A few words of comment or exhortation 
should follow the reading of Scripture ; and suggestions 
about self-examination, penitence, &c., may be made to 
come naturally out of such a comment, if the Psalm or 
chapter has been well chosen for the object in view. A 
catechetical tone may also be sometimes adopted with 
advantage, to draw out a person s belief, or to give point 
and particularity to the suggestions made, (-y) Prayer 

p 2 



212 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

will come next and last ; and it should be made according 
to some plan definitely formed in the mind of the pastor, 
with regard to the circumstances of the case he is at the 
time dealing with. A responsive office will often be found 
advisable for habitual Church people who are used to that 
mode of prayer; and if special circumstances require to 
be named, an extemporaneous prayer may be introduced 
into it accordingly. There are many admirable collects 
for various occasions of life and states of mind in the old 
Sacramentaries, from which most of our Prayer Book 
collects are derived; and translations of these might be 
kept in hand by the clergyman for use in sick rooms and 
elsewhere. 

4. There are many occasions, however, when the pastor 
will do well to pray without any written or printed form. 
In cases where prayer from a book would shake the con 
fidence of " those that are weak " in your ministrations, 
it is far better to put the book aside. Such persons are 
disposed to think more highly of a clergyman s minis 
trations than of a preacher s, but if the preacher prays 
extempore in suitable language, and the clergyman from 
a book, in, perhaps, the Latinized idiom of Caroline 
divines, or Johnsonian days of English, the comparison 
is inevitably to the disadvantage of the latter. Again, 
when prayers are offered for individual persons they ought 
to be pointed, both in reference to that person s par 
ticular necessities, and also to the tone which you wish 
to infuse into their minds (not to call prayer instructive) 
with regard to their own prayers arid meditations. But 
a clergyman who chains himself to books of prayer, runs 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 213 

into great danger of resting in formal generalities which 
are contrary to the spirit and intention of private minis 
trations. Such generalities are of the essence of Common 
Prayer, but with a sick person the clergyman should pray 
as he would for himself were he in the same condition ; 
and his prayers as well as his exhortations and admoni 
tions should deal with particulars and specialities as much 
as possible, only taking pains not to do so in a manner 
that may prove offensive. 

. A Visiting Manual. 

There is no manual extant which fulfils the conditions 
necessary for the judicious and convenient Visitation of 
the Sick. To carry out the system I have indicated, I 
recommend the clergyman to purchase a Bible and Prayer 
Book of rather small size, but rather large print, in sheets, 
and have portions of them bound together into the follow 
ing Manual. The size should be such as may be carried 
in the pocket, if necessary; the print such as may be 
easily read in a darkish room. 

1. The Prayer Book. 

2. The Book of Job. 

3. The Book of Isaiah. 

4. The New Testament. 

5. Fifty or sixty pages of blank paper. 

6. A back cord or tape for a few loose leaves on which 
to make memoranda. 

The volume thus compiled will be just half the thickness 
of a Bible of the same type ; and, bound in limp covers, is 
sufficiently portable. On some of the blank pages may be 



214 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

noted down lists of Psalms and Scriptures suitable for 
various cases. On other pages short and concise notes, 
similar to sermon notes, for exhortation, exposition, and 
prayer. On others, again, prayers may be written out, 
which have been taken from such sources as I have 
previously recommended. 

. Private Communion. 

Much discretion should be used in the administration 
of Private Communion. There is a tendency among ill- 
instructed persons to look upon it as a kind of charm for 
the sick and the dying ; and many receive it, or are ready 
to receive it, in their sick rooms, who never did receive 
it in church, and will do so rarely, if at all, on their 
recovery. 

The rule of the Church of England is sufficiently de 
finite to be a sure guide to the pastor. The Seventy-first 
Canon enjoins that, "No minister shall . . . administer 
the Holy Communion in any private house, except it be 
in times of necessity, when any being either so impotent 
as he cannot go to the church, or very dangerously sick, arc 
desirous to be partakers of the holy Sacrament." The 
Rubric before the Office for the Communion of the Sick, 
after directing curates to exhort their flocks diligently 
to the often receiving of the " Holy Communion of the 
Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ," in their parish 
churches, adds that, " If the sick person be not able to 
come to the church, and yet is desirous to receive the 
Communion in his house, then he must," &c. 

This rule evidently does not apply to trivial sicknesses, 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 215 

nor to those which prevent a person for a short time only 
from receiving in church. Before, then, a clergyman 
administers the Holy Communion in private he should 
have some of these reasons for doing so. 

1. That the person to whom he proposes to administer 
it, is either so infirm as to be incapacitated from 
attending church. 

2. Or dangerously sick. 

3. And, in either case, really desirous of receiving 
it, and not assenting out of civility to the clergy 
man. 

It is a matter for serious consideration, whether or not 
he administers it to a person for the first time in private 
who has habitually neglected the public opportunities 
of receiving it ; and there are some valuable cautions con 
tained in the following ancient metrical canon. 

" Duni vomet infirmus, non debet sumere corpus 
Christ! : nisi credit, credendo fideliter egit. 
Ebrius, insanus, erroneus, ct male credens, 
Et pueri, corpus Christi non suscipiant hi, 
Non nisi mense semel, aliquis communicet seger 4 ." 

In all cases of Private Communion regard should be paid 
to proper reverence in respect to "externals;" in the 
spirit of the rubric, which enjoins a "convenient place" 
to be prepared " in the sick man s house, with all things 
necessary so prepared, that the Curate may reverently 
minister." The surplice should certainly be used on 
such occasions. Indeed, the office is framed in so exact 
an analogy with that for the celebration of Holy Coin- 

* Monuments Eitualia, i. 90. 



216 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 



munion in public, that it is very singular the habit of 
administering it privately in a common walking dress 
only should ever have grown up among the clergy. It 
certainly cannot be accounted an over-strictness, in regard 
to externals, to reckon the seemly vesture prescribed for 
the purpose among the " all things necessary " for re 
verent celebration, directed by the rubric. 

The vessels used for Private Communion are also worth 
consideration. The toy-like " pocket communion ser 
vices," which are so often used, are surely beneath the 
dignity of so solemn an ordinance. They seem to have 
been contrived on the supposition, that the essential thing 
in their construction was to make them so small that they 
could really be carried in the pocket ; though why they 



-3 incfiet 




THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 



217 



should go there at all I cannot understand. For many 
years I have used a chalice and paten of a size inter 
mediate between those used in church and these " pocket " 
inventions ; and it has proved so suitable for the purpose, 
that I give a drawing of it, reduced to exactly half the 
size of the original, which will show both form and size 
sufficiently for a workman to go upon. Mine were made 
for me in beaten brass, (I had a curacy of 50/. a year 
at the time,) from paper models of my own construction, 
by an ordinary brazier at Plymouth ; and a friend covered 
the bowl of the chalice with silver, as well as the in 
terior of the paten, by means of electrotype apparatus. 
The cost of them, so made, was thirty shillings. I was 
told that they could be made in silver for 5L 




I 



/: 



There is nothing mean or toy-like in the appearance 
of these ; and the form of the chalice bowl is specially 
adapted for administering its contents easily to persons in 



218 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 



a recumbent posture. The most convenient way of carry 
ing the "things necessary for the Curate reverently to 
minister" in private, is a small black leather bag, the 
lower part of which is made around a thin wooden case 
having divisions, thus : 




In the upper part of the bag should be carried small 
linen cloths for placing on the table, and for covering 
the elements; and a plain surplice made without the 
ordinary thick folds at the shoulders, so as to pack into 
a small compass. With these should also be taken three 
or four large print Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge copies of the Communion Service, for hand 
ing to the communicants at the time of celebration. 

I have been thus particular in setting down these 
things, because clergymen often use what they can get 
at any ordinary silversmith s, only because they do not 
know where or how to get better vessels made ; and yet, 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 219 

perhaps, every time they use them, they feel that there 
is a most unnecessary disproportion between the dignity 
of the sacrament, and that of the vessels used in its 
administration; and that the latter are made of an in 
convenient form, solely for the sake of getting them small 
enough to carry in the pocket 5 . It would be a good 
thing if others were to follow the example of good Bishop 
Coleridge. When he gave up the Incumbency of Cowley, 
near Oxford, he provided a set of vessels for use at Private 
Communion, to be handed down in perpetuity to his 
successors. f 

. Visiting cases of infectious disease. 

Some words of caution are necessary with regard to 
the duty of the clergyman in his visitation of sick persons 
suffering from infectious disorders. Archbishop Whately, 
in his "Parish Pastor," says, "A conscientious priest of 
the Church of Rome, who sincerely believes that con 
fession, and absolution, and extreme unction, are highly 
important to the salvation of a soul, will feel himself 
called on to encounter greater risks from infectious disease 
than it would be needful, or even allowable, for a Pro 
testant minister to expose himself to 6 ." It would be 
unjust to the Archbishop s memory to suppose that he 
would have advised clergymen to sacrifice duty to safety 
without good cause ; so that we must take these words as 

5 I have known a clergyman to be in the habit of celebrating the Com 
munion of the Sick, with no other vessel than a wine-glass and an earthen 
ware plate. 

6 Parish Pastor, p. 39, note. 



220 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

indicating the opinion that some rule of self-restraint and 
prudence is advisable, however repugnant it may be to 
us on first thought. 

Such cases are certainly not to be courted, as if there 
was a special merit in attending where there is danger, 
even though the necessity for attendance is not by itself 
such as to justify the clergyman in going. If a child is 
to be baptized who is suffering from small-pox, or malig 
nant scarlet fever, nothing can excuse the clergyman for 
declining to baptize it, if he is assured that it is likely to 
die from the disease. If a reckless, habitual drunkard 
is attacked with the same disorder, and manifests no wish 
for the clergyman s attendance, I do not see that he is 
obliged to court the risk in the very groundless expectation 
that he may be the means of bringing a reprobate to a 
death-bed repentance. If, on the other hand, the ser 
vices of the pastor are requested by any person suffering 
from an infectious disease, or by any of those about 
him who are entitled to speak in his behalf, he must 
go, whether the sufferer is such an habitual sinner, or 
whether he is a good and holy member of the Church. 

There are two rubrics at the end of the Office for the 
Communion of the Sick, and a parenthesis in the Sixty- 
seventh Canon, which indicate that the clergyman is 
supposed to face the danger of infection when duty ab 
solutely requires him to do so, but that at the same 
time, he is to be careful to minimize that danger to him 
self and others. The Canon directs the minister to resort 
to any sick person, " (if the disease be not known, or 
probably suspected to be infectious,)" and the parenthesis 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 221 

appears to have been inserted for the purpose of leaving 
the minister to his own conscience in the excepted cases. 
But the rubric takes a stricter line, stating that, " In the 
time of the plague, sweat, or such other like contagious 
times of sickness or diseases, when none of the parish or 
neighbours can be gotten to communicate with the sick 
in their houses, for fear of the infection, upon special 
request of the diseased, the Minister may only communi 
cate with him ; " and this plainly supposes it to be the 
pastor s duty to go into danger on some occasions when 
all other persons have fled from it. But a previous 
rubric also enjoins that, "At the time of the distribution 
of the Holy Sacrament, the priest shall first receive the 
Communion himself, and after minister unto them that 
are appointed to communicate with the sick, and, last 
of all, to the sick person;" and this appears to be a pro 
vision against contagion, at least, in the case of the 
healthy communicants, there being no other reason why 
the sick person should not communicate immediately after 
the priest. 

Based on these distinct provisions, I venture to lay 
down three rules as those by which a pastor should be 
guided in infectious cases. 

I. He is not to rush into danger when his services are 
not sought for, nor likely to be of use. 

II. He is not to shrink from danger, when he is 
summoned to visit a person suffering from an infectious 
disorder. 

III. He is to take reasonable precautions against in 
fection. 



222 THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 

SOME RULES FOR AVOIDING INFECTION. 

1. Avoid visiting dangerous cases of illness with the 
stomach in a very empty condition, or with the lungs 
exhausted by running or quick ascent of stairs. It is 
better to take a biscuit and glass of wine before starting 
to visit very extreme cases of infectious disease. 

2. Do not place yourself between the patient and the 
fire, where the air is drawn from the former to the latter 
over your person. 

3. Do not inhale the breath of the patient. 

4. Do not keep your hand in contact with the hand 
of the sufferer. 

5. Avoid entering your own or any other house until 
you have ventilated your clothes and person by a short 
w r alk in the open air. You are morally bound to take this 
precaution in respect to other sick persons whom you 
have to visit 7 ; and, in the case of your own family, 
although they must abide by the risks which belong to 
your calling, they have a claim upon you for the use of 
all lawful precautions in making that risk as small as 
possible. 

6. In times when you are much among infectious cases, 
use extra care to keep the perspiratory ducts of the skin 
clear of obstruction, that the excretive force of the per 
spiration may have fair play in throwing off infectious 
matters floating in the air. 

7 Clergymen should know that it is almost certain death to a lying-in 
woman to be visited by a person fresh from the bed-side of another suffering 
from puerperal fever. I know a case of a medical man who lost several 
patients by neglecting to regard this acknowledged fact. 



THE VISITATION OF THE SICK. 223 

I believe that by keeping up constitutional vigour, 
avoiding contact, and attending to the detailed precautions 
I have set down, clergymen may visit infectious patients 
as harmlessly as medical men do ; and they are such 
precautions as the former may use without in the least 
foregoing the duties of their office. 

And, more than all, they may well have faith in the 
protecting Providence of Him in whose work they are en 
gaged. We have right and reason to believe that any 
dangers which really belong to the duties which God lays 
upon us will be neutralized in the discharge of them ; and 
in such a faith let the pastor go even to the worst of places, 
and the worst of cases, if a real pastoral duty summon 
him. But, remembering the answer of One who, when 
it was suggested to Him, " Cast Thyself down : for it is 
written, He shall give His angels charge over Thee," 
replied, " Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God," so 
let the pastor decline to rush uncalled into danger, and 
avoid tempting God by a neglect of ordinary safeguards. 



CHAPTER VII. 

PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

IT is so generally acknowledged in the present day that 
a clergyman ought to be much among his parishioners 
for direct pastoral objects, as well as in that social inter 
course of which I have already spoken in the Second 
Chapter of this volume, that I need occupy no space in 
introducing the subject, but may at once assume that the 
reader recognizes the duty of visiting and admonishing 
" the whole," as well as the sick, for an integral part of 
the cure of souls. 

More care, perhaps, is necessary in this than in any 
other duty of the pastor to prevent his work from de 
generating. If he sets no definite objects before him, he 
will either leave off visiting his parishioners almost alto 
gether ; or he will go from house to house in a dry statis 
tical manner, spending much time, and producing little 
result. As the fundamental principle of such visiting, 
therefore, he should put before himself these questions as 
applicable in every case : 

1. What is the particular work I have to do in this 
house ? 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 225 

2. How is that work to be accomplished, or at 
tempted ? 

To visit his parish systematically and with 
economy of time, he should make himself ^^ 
thoroughly acquainted with its topography. 
This may be done best, by using the maps of the Ordnance 
Survey, which are published in three sizes, one, six, and 
twenty-five inches to the mile. The middle size is useful 
for showing the general bearings of a parish ; but every 
house being distinctly marked in the largest size, it is 
from that the clergyman will obtain the most practical 
information. 

It will also be of untold advantage to him 

Census of 
to get a census, approximate, if not exact, of the parish- 

his parishioners. A good- sized volume should 
be appropriated to this purpose, a leaf or a page being 
used for each household, so as to leave room for changes, 
or for remarks. Such a census might be taken without 
much difficulty by the clergyman himself, in parishes 
where the population does not exceed 1000 or 1200, and 
without any offensive intrusion upon the privacy of his 
people \ In larger parishes assistants would be required ; 
and the parish- rates collector will prove a very useful 
ally. If it can be done no other way, it may be done by 
taking down the names, and the ages (approximate in 
some cases, actual in the case of children), as oppor 
tunities offer in the course of visiting. The value of such 

1 I obtained permission to assist an incompetent enumerator in 1861, 
and by that means secured for pastoral use a complete list of all the in 
habitants in a parish near Oxford. 

Q 



226 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

a record for school and confirmation purposes, and for the 
adaptation of pastoral visits to special circumstances, can 
not be over estimated. 

The objects of such intercourse as that now under 
consideration, may be stated generally as that of assisting 
and supplementing the work done within the walls of the 
church. " In private converse with an individual, you 
perceive, and can accommodate yourself to his particular 
character and habits of thought, and can then supply just 
the kind of instruction or advice that especially suits that 
individual. You learn what are the particular difficulties 
or objections that most beset him ; and again, the par 
ticular excuses by which each may have soothed his con 
science ; and which, perhaps, are what you would never 
have conjectured. The particular temptations to which 
one individual is most exposed, are often quite different 
from those of another man. And these you will best 
come to understand in private intercourse 2 ." It is mani 
fest that intercourse of this kind should not be confined 
to the poorer classes alone, nor to the feminine part only 
of the households that are visited. But, at the same time, 
the educated portion of regular church-going people stand 
less in need of it, as a rule, than the uneducated ; and 
the occasions of social intercourse which offer themselves 
in their case are opportunities to the clergyman in 
the houses of the upper class, which are obliged to be 
sought by a kind of pastoral intrusion in those of the 
lower. 

It is no trifling advance to have made with our parish- 

2 Whately s Parish Pastor, p. 7. 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 227 

ioners (I speak now chiefly of the lower classes), if we 
have convinced them that there is not an impassable 
barrier between them and their clergyman. It may take 
some time to do this ; and when done in some cases, 
will require to be done over again in others ; especially 
where there is a shifting population. Among operatives, 
there is a disposition to think that their clergyman looks 
down upon them from a lofty height of " aristocratic " 
pretension 3 ; and with this idea in their minds they take 
pains to assert their own independence, by holding aloof 
from "the parson s" advances, and by sometimes treating 
him with surliness and disrespect. It is something, then, 
to make them aware that the clergyman of their parish 
feels a real brotherly interest in them and their concerns. 
And, in fact, the only way of getting them to listen to him 
is by getting them first to believe in his manly sympathy 
with them. When the ice is broken, and their warm 
hearts are reached, they will hear religious conversation 
or admonition, and will feel that it is the duty of " the 
parson " to point out to them their own duty, and they 
will respect him for doing it. 

But there are many circumstances arising in the life 
of every household in which much comfort will be felt 
from the visits, more or less frequent, of the clergyman ; 



3 Comparisons are often made between clergymen and Dissenting 
preachers in respect to this. The explanation of the greater favour in 
which the latter are as friends is to be found in the nearer approach 
of their social condition to that of the classes who attend their meeting 
houses. But it is generally the clergyman who is sent for when spiritual 
help is needed. 

Q 2 



228 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

and an acquaintance is initiated which may end in the 
highest good to the family visited, and the firm establish 
ment of a sound relation between them and their pastor. 
Times of sickness, death, and the mourning time after 
bereavement by death, are obviously such occasions. But 
so also are times when affliction has come upon a house 
hold or an individual through want of prosperity, or an 
actual loss of property ; through the breaking up of family 
ties ; the misconduct of young people, domestic differences, 
or the quarrels of neighbours. In such cases a discreet 
clergyman can quietly interpose his influence without 
offence, when any other person would certainly be thought 
intrusive. On such occasions the hearts of some, or 
perhaps the whole, of the household will be open to the 
clergyman ; and he will be of practical use to them, 
first, by soothing and comforting, secondly, by giving 
judicious and trustworthy advice. From one who thus 
proves himself anxious to comfort and advise, rebukes 
(if they are necessary at any time) will be taken with 
submission ; and the way to a higher Christian life may 
be pointed out without causing offence. From such oc 
casions of intercourse the pastor may be able to date a 
more punctual attendance at church, a habit of com 
municating, greater thoughtfulness about the religion of 
daily life, more humble recognition of and dependence on 
the Providence of God. 

. Pastoral Discipline. 

According to the standard set up by the Church of 
England, the exercise of discipline is no small part of a 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 229 

pastor s duty. At the very outset of his career, for example, 

he is required to promise that he will " so minister 

the discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and 
as this Church and Realm hath received the same, accord 
ing to the commandments of God." In the Canons, again, 
there are no fewer than seven bearing on the subject of 
discipline, some of which are corroborated by the rubrics 
of the Communion Service ; and all of which are illustrated 
by the Commination Service and its annual regrets that 
discipline is not more strictly exercised. The seven Canons 
on the subject are the 26th, 27th, and 28th, on exclusion 
of various classes of offenders from the Holy Communion ; 
the 112th, 113th, 110th, and 114th, on presenting non- 
communicants, licentious persons, and schismatics to the 
bishop to be dealt with by him at his discretion 4 . Good 
has been done, even in our own day, by a literal obedience 
to these canonical injunctions ; and it is probable that a 
faithful observance of them by clergymen would often, if 
not always, be productive of a sound and real reformation 
of manners. Few of us are prepared, however, for a sudden 
return to such a course, except in cases where conscience 
is positively outraged by the attendance of a notorious and 
unrepentant sinner at the Holy Communion. The expense 
of following up presentations is almost ruinous to bishops 
and clergymen ; and the danger of agitation is too great, 
in many cases, to be compensated for by the probability 
there may be of effecting good 5 . But on the outline of 

4 The Canons themselves are too long to be inserted here. 

5 The 115th Canon strongly " admonishes and exhorts all judges, both 
ecclesiastical aud temporal, as they regard and reverence the fearful judg- 



230 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

this formal system of discipline, the pastor may construct 
a sort of system of his own for dealing with his parishioners 
in which he will try to carry out the spirit of the Church, 
if he cannot act upon the letter of its law. 

. Pastoral dealing with -wickedness. 

The variety of the cases which an active pastor must 
meet with, in which he is called upon to deal with those 
who are living in a state of alienation from God, is so 
great as to preclude the possibility of laying down any 
detailed rules in respect to the mode of dealing with them. 
Like the physician or surgeon he must acquire that^know- 
ledge and experience which will enable him to make in his 
mind a " diagnosis " of each case as it comes before him. 
Like them, too, he must endeavour to bring remedies 
suitable to each case, for " the coarseness of an universal 
panacea will fail in the hand of the spiritual, as it does in 
the hands of an ordinary empiric ." He must, too, impress 
upon the sinner the necessity of a co-operation on his part 
without which remedies must prove unavailing. But unlike 
the physician of the body, the pastor has to deal with 
persons who are, most frequently, unconscious of their 
malady, or suffering no pain from it ; and the hardest part 
of his work is to brin g them to the first step on the road 

mcnt-seat of the highest Judge, that they admit not in any of their courts 
any complaint, plea, suit, or suits against any churchwardens . . . nor against 
any minister for any presentment " they may make. I do not feel sure how 
far this Canon would secure a clergyman from punishment for libel or 
defamation in obstinate cases. 

6 Bishop of Oxford s Addresses, p. 106. 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 231 

to spiritual restoration, conviction of sin. Yet without 
this, all apparent progress will be merely deceptive. 

Among all variations of sin, there is, indeed, so much of 
generic similarity, that a definite line of treatment may be 
laid down which is applicable to every case, though it is 
not possible to fill up the details, except as the cases arise. 
(1) The conscience must be aroused to a knowledge of sin 
as sin ; and it is surprising to find how much work is 
cut out for the pastor in his private intercourse with his 
parishioners even in giving this knowledge. Conventional 
habits, long familiarity with what is wrong, the specious 
casuistry which the father of lies has ever had ready at 
hand for the sinner since the day when he first beguiled 
Eve with his subtilty ; these, and many more influences 
act on the consciences of men as anaesthetics operate upon 
their bodily senses. It is the work of the pastor to coun 
teract the poison, and to restore sensation even by sharp 
and electric shocks of pain if it cannot be done otherwise, 
lest sleep should pass into an insensibility from which 
there is no awaking. (2) The consciousness of sin must 
then be made a step to sorrow for it, a fruitful " godly 
sorrow, working repentance not to be repented of." (3) 
Repentance must be urged forward to its practical results, 
confession of sin, restitution and reparation, amendment of 
life. A full and honest confession must be made to God 
in all cases without exception ; and in some cases it may 
be the duty of the pastor to aid the penitent in " opening 
his grief." Restitution must be made, where it is possible, 
for injuries done to man ; and where it is not possible, 
(alas ! how often,) there must be the sincere desire to make 



232 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

it if it might be done ; or to undergo some self-denial 
which may be in some degree equivalent to it in its effects 
towards the penitent. (4) Then all is to be crowned with 
the " benefit of absolution " by the " ministry of God s holy 
"Word," (either by a personal application of the general ab 
solution which the minister of God s holy Word pronounces 
in the public services of the Church ; or, if " humbly and 
heartily desired," by individual absolution,) and the Holy 
Communion received by the penitent as a pledge of his 
reconciliation to God, as a promise of amended life, as a 
means for gaining that grace by which alone he can fulfil 
the promise and maintain his reconciled position. 

It is almost impossible to go beyond this general outline 
in the present volume, the detail of cases requiring much 
space, and belonging more to a work (if such should ever 
be written for the Church of England) on moral theology. 
In filling up the outline with such detail in his work 
among his people, the pastor will find occasion for the 
exercise of all his tact, his patience, his discretion, and his 
love for souls ; for much remembrance of sinful members of 
the flock in his prayers ; and, not to be forgotten, for an 
untiring perseverance. There will be many of those on 
whom he will begin to work, with whom his work will 
never be completed ; there will be some in whom he will 
never see the results of his work, though yet it may not be 
fruitless ; there will be a few whom he will be able to lead 
from sin to holiness, and of whom he may have a good 
hope that they will be his "joy and crown of rejoicing" 
when his pastoral ministrations are reviewed at the last 
account. 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 233 

. Pastoral dealing with error. 

But it will not be in respect to vice alone that the 
parochial clergyman must carry out the spirit of Church 
discipline. Private endeavours to draw his people away 
from errors of belief are a duty definitely laid upon him 
by his Ordination vows. " Will you be ready," asks the 
ordaining bishop, "with all faithful diligence, to banish 
and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines con 
trary to God s Word, and to use both public and private 
monitions and exhortations, as well to the sick as to the 
whole, within your cures, as need shall require, and occa 
sion shall be given?" To which the solemn reply of the 
clergyman to be ordained Priest is, " I will, the Lord being 
my helper." These words not only justify a pastor in 
speaking to the members of his flock privately on the 
subject of their doctrinal errors, but they lay an obligation 
upon him to do so from which he cannot escape without 
peril of breaking a solemn promise made to God when he 
undertook the duties of the pastoral office. 

Our dealings with error in the present day may be 
divided into dealings with Dissenters, and with that grow 
ing class of sceptics w T hose sympathies are more with the 
Church than with any separated religious community, but 
whose principles form a congeries of negations most dis 
cordant with her faith and practice. 

Dissent from the Church of England is more often a 
matter of accident, habit, or ignorance, than of conscience. 
As I write I overlook a tract of country thickly scattered 
over with villages, which are inhabited by thousands 



234 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

who have probably never seen the interior of the church, 
and know nothing whatever of Church religion. These 
villages have sprung up in what was formerly a desolate 
moorland divided into parishes that spread over many 
square miles ; and many of them are as wholly unconnected 
with the original church of the parish (except in the 
matter of rates), or with any other church, as if none 
existed. At a time when the Church was less active than 
now, the desire for some kind of visible link between them 
and God led the people of these villages to build cheap 
meeting-houses for themselves, and some branch or other 
of the Methodists has provided them with preachers, men 
slightly above themselves in knowledge, and full of self- 
interested prejudice against the Church of England. Such 
a district is only a type of the rise and spread of dissent 
all over the land, whether at the Reformation or at later 
times. Where the Church has neglected its duty, there a 
lower form of spiritual life has sprung up, whether in 
crowded towns or in the open country ; and however 
much there is in such a lower form of spiritual life to 
excite our regret, there is much in it to claim our sympathy. 
Certainly our feelings towards those who are Dissenters 
through such circumstances ought to be of a very charitable 
nature. It is our duty to do the best we can towards 
winning them over to a system which provides them with 

7 Some future writer of Ecclesiastical History will point out that wher 
ever the Church of England has lost its hold of the people, or the institu 
tions of the country, it has been through its leaving ground that ought to 
have been, and might have been occupied, uncovered. Hence have arisen 
troublesome Registration Acts, Marriage laws, Burial bills, and many others 
of the same kind. 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 235 

higher privileges, and more certain means of grace ; but 
it would be wrong to treat them as wilful and conscious 
schismatics. Their real errors are those of indifferent blind 
ness to that better way which God s Providence has opened 
for them ; and that of easy contentment with the mere ashes 
of religion on which they are too often fed, when so rich a 
store of good spiritual food is provided for them in the 
Church of the land. 

But we must guard against indifference to truth in 
our desire to show charitable tenderness towards Dis 
senters. The Church of England formularies are clear 
and decided in their censure of wilful and conscious sepa 
ration from its communion ; and it would be wrong in 
her clergy to lose sight of these censures in their theo 
retical opinions or their practical work. Those are ex 
pressly censured in the Canons who deny or impugn the 
Sovereign s supremacy, who affirm that the Church of 
England is not a true and Apostolical Church, that its 
Prayer Book is unscriptural, its Articles of Religion erro 
neous, its rites and ceremonies superstitious, its episcopal 
character repugnant to the Word of God, its mode of ordi 
nation insufficient or wrong 8 ; and such denials certainly 
constitute the only grounds on which any could become 
Dissenters, if they became so with knowledge of what they 
were doing, and on principles of professed religion. Again, 
the authors of schism, who " combine themselves together 
in a new brotherhood" instead of joining in Christian 
profession with "the Christians who are conformable to 
the doctrine, rites and ceremonies of the Church of Eng- 
8 Canons 1 to 8 inclusive. 



236 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

land," are spoken of as persons who have fallen into 
" wicked errors," as are those who support and encourage 
them in their schism 9 ; and the Thirty-fourth Article of 
Religion condemns them as those who "ought to be rebuked 
openly, as offending against the common order of the 
Church, hurting the authority of the magistrate, and 
wounding the consciences of the weak brethren." And 
the principles thus formally declared are so thoroughly a 
part of the system of the Church of England, that they 
are carried into her devotional services at the most solemn 
times ; her ministers praying that all who profess and call 
themselves Christians, may be led into the way of truth , 
that God would have mercy on all unbelievers, and take 
from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt 
of His Word 2 ; and that He will deliver us from all false 
doctrine, heresy, and schism, from hardness of heart, and 
contempt of His Word and commandment 3 . 

These Canons, &c., expand then the text of the Ordi 
nation vow which every clergyman makes, that he will 
be ready to contend against false doctrine and error when 
there is necessity and occasion to do so ; and show that 
a pastor cannot, if he is faithful, sit down in the midst 
of Dissent and say it is no concern of his, peace requires 
that he should let others go their way if they will let him 
go his. Nor can he content himself with endeavouring 
to drive away error in his pulpit ministrations alone, since 
the majority of those who are entangled in its meshes 
never come within the walls of his church to hear his 

9 Canons 9 to 12 inclusive. l Prayer for all Conditions of Men. 

2 Third Collect for Good Friday. a Litany. 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 237 

warnings or his arguments. It is his duty to go among 
the wandering sheep of his flock in the wilderness, and 
seek to bring them home to God s fold with a gentle, but 
a firm hand. 

The performance of this duty may at first be very un 
pleasant to all parties concerned; and under the most 
favourable circumstances it requires great tact and delicacy 
to perform it successfully. But in the end, both the clergy 
man and those whom he has endeavoured to turn from their 
errors will probably, even in this life, see cause to be 
thankful for the faithfulness and moral courage which he 
has shown. It is, however, necessary to observe the limi 
tations of the obligation he is under, (1) "within your 
cures," (2) " as need shall require," and (3) " as occasion 
shall be given ;" limitations which need only to be stated 
thus barely to be thoroughly understood, but which yet 
ought to be kept in view by the clergy. 

And yet when I call these the limitations of this part 
of a pastor s duty, it seems almost like playing with words ; 
for it can hardly be said that there is any parish in which 
need will not often require him to exercise it. The germs 
of error are scattered about in our day like the winged 
seeds which unnoticed currents of air, as well as boisterous 
winds, carry from the wild common or the hedge-row to 
the carefully sown corn-fields adjacent ; and unless the 
process of weeding is diligently attended to by the labourers 
of the great Husbandman, it will be seen in harvest time 
that the results of their other labours in ploughing and 
sowing are far less productive than they ought to have 
been in store for the heavenly garner. 



238 



PASTORAL CONVEBSE. 



For this work, as well as for public preaching-, a sound 
study of Holy Scripture is the great foundation. And, 
in fact, so far as knowledge goes, that which qualifies 
any man to preach in defence of the doctrines of Chris 
tianity, will also qualify him to stand up for them in his 
private admonitions. It should be remembered, however, 
that " he that is of the contrary part " has an opportunity 
of reply in the one case, which is denied him in the other ; 
and that hence the private conference of a clergyman 
with misbelievers is a very good test of the real Scriptural 
knowledge which he has acquired. If it is knowledge 
which is of the kind that may be called " ingrained," he 
will not be at a loss to see the fallacies of those with 
whom he has to deal ; and he will be able to use Holy 
Scripture to the point, after the manner indicated by our 
Divine Lord s application of it at the Temptation, or in 
silencing the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees. But if it 
is a mere knowledge of texts, without a good perception 
of the avaXoyia, balance, and spirit of the Scriptures ; 
or a mere set of dogmatic propositions which he ushers 
in with the venerable formula, " The Church says," the 
clergyman of our day will often be driven to feel that his 
own weakness is a very insufficient representative of the 
strength of the cause which he is advocating. 

An acquaintance with the course of error, from the 
beginning of the Christian sera to our own time, is also 
a most useful auxiliary weapon of oifence and defence 
in contending against modern error. In no sense is the 
proverb of the wise man more true than as it applies to 
misbelief, that " There is no new thing under the sun." 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 239 

It may, at least, be said that as soon as the sun of Chris 
tianity arose, the roots of heresy began to be planted with 
a comprehensive spread that has served for the after 
growth and development of every error that the world 
has since known. The more we lay bare the foundations 
on which unbelief or error in its infinite degrees of strength 
stands, the more clearly shall we see that it rests ulti 
mately on a larger or smaller space of that comprehensive 
denial of Christ which characterized the inspirations of 
Satan in the first ages. 

Hence, I venture to express an opinion, that all " erro 
neous and strange doctrines contrary to God s Word " 
ought to be met by a setting forth of the Person, the past 
and present work of the Word, to Whom the main part 
of the written record points, and against Whom the error 
contested is radically opposed. To use a phraseology 
that has been very much hackneyed, but yet is very con 
venient, if a rationalizing " subjectivity " is the prevailing 
vice of modern religion, a rational "objectivity" will be 
its best remedy. If the tendency of the times is to in 
dividualize, to make our own selves the centre of each 
one s religious sphere, to which all else is expected to 
converge, then the cure for this is to point to Christ, 
whose centrality is supreme over all other centres ; and 
to show how the true exaltation of human nature is indeed 
to be found only through union with Him. 

In contending against all error, then, we should put 
this question before us ; How can I so point to Christ 
as to be bringing the truth about Him to bear at once, 
or ultimately, on this error ; upon these mistakes in be- 



240 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

lief or in practice, this heresy or schism? It is sur 
prising how universally, and in what variety of modes this 
Divine remedy may be brought pointedly to bear ; and 
how often it will prove that the Name of Christ is a 
weapon wherewith to cast out the devils of unbelief that 
would yield to no other argument. But the effective use 
of that Name is not to be attained without very diligent, 
religious, and official study of Holy Scripture. This alone 
can make a minister of the Word of God, a true GeoXoyo^. 
It will enable us to bring out the light of some general 
principle, by means of which the relation between God 
and man may be so clearly shown as to cut the ground 
from under the arguments which the adversary puts into 
men s minds. But the useable knowledge of that general 
principle we shall probably have attained only by long 
and careful study ; just as some invaluable remedies be 
longing to the physician s art, although simple in their 
own composition, require to be separated from many other 
and extraneous substances, by tedious processes, before 
they can be brought into a state fit for use. 

Again, it is of great importance that the pastor should 
acquire the power of analyzing the general belief of those 
who are in error, so that he may be able to see what is 
really wrong in it, and in what manner it combines with 
what is right, so as to disguise its poisonous character. 
For it is to be observed that, except in the wilfully apos 
tate, the religious errors of mankind are always com 
mingled with an element of truth. The extreme of 
rationalist opinion, for example, represents that "the 
Christ " is to be found, not in a Divine and Human Person 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 241 

external to ordinary humanity, but in humanity itself, as 
in so many agglomerated atoms. This doctrine always 
amounts to a real denial of Christ s existence, and yet 
it is crystallized around a morsel of truth, a fragmentary 
notion of the great principle that men " dwell in Christ, 
and Christ in them ;" that He is the sanctifying Person 
by whose indwelling, through the operation of the Holy 
Ghost, men are made one with God and with each other. 
Such a morsel of truth obviously offers a common starting- 
point, from which we may go forward in our arguments 
with a Rationalist. 

To change the illustration ; let us suppose the case of a 
Wesleyan Methodist, whom we are trying to win back 
to the Church of his fathers. Shall we go to him and 
say, in effect, You are altogether wrong ; we alone are 
right ? By no means. On the contrary, I would gladly 
admit, at once, that Methodism sprung out of an earnest 
desire for more spiritual religion than the clergy and 
the society of the last century encouraged ; that the 
founder of the community was a man of great zeal, per 
sonal piety, and mental power; and that it was only 
through a self-satisfied settling down on the lees of poli 
tical Churchmanship, that John Wesley and his followers 
were driven to their meeting-houses instead of being kept 
within the walls of their parish churches. And having, 
as occasion offered, shown that the history of Methodism 
is as familiar to the clergy as it is to the Methodists 
themselves, and that they can feel much respect for its 
origin, it would be easy to point out how modern 
Methodism differs from that of John Wesley; that he 



242 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

never meant his followers to separate from the Church 
of England ; and that a tradition of his intentions is still 
kept up by some old people when they assert, as they 
often do, that they are Church people as well as Me 
thodists. It makes no small impression on "Wesleyans 
to prove to them that their system was intended to 
supplement, not to supersede the ordinary Church system 4 ; 
and that Wesley would have thought it a very great sin 
for his followers to content themselves with their meeting 
houses, instead of only using them after they had been to 
church, and felt the need of further prayer. NOT would 
it be difficult, in a well-ordered parish, to carry this 
argument further, by pointing to what the Church offers, 
and contrasting it with what the meeting-house offers; 
to show them that the services of the Church are more 
abundant, more full of Holy Scripture, more truly spi 
ritual, and less merely human than Methodism ; that, 
whereas, the latter was originated on the plea of a 
necessity for higher spiritual life than the former afforded, 
now times are changed, and the Church provides far 
higher spiritual life for those who choose to avail them 
selves of it, than any other religious community in 
England. 

One other illustration shall be offered from a recent 



4 It was founded, in fact, on the system of Religious Societies, which 
had been formed in the Church of England under the leadership of 
Horneck, author of "The Crucified Jesus ;" which were strongly ad 
vocated by Samuel Wesley, the father of John Wesley, in 1699 ; and 
which were also in full activity at Oxford, when John and Charles Wesley 
were undergraduates of Lincoln and Christ Church. These Societies 
must not be confounded with those for the Reformation of Manners. 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 243 

experience of my own ; and I offer it with reference to 
the dissemination of errors by means of tracts, which are 
thought to be religious and Scriptural by those who cir 
culate them, and by those, probably, who, in their igno 
rance, presume to write them. Going into a sick room, 
I found such a tract lying on the woman s bed, entitled 
" The Way to Heaven ;" and, as it consisted only of four 
small pages, I looked it through before opening the Bible 
to read. The first page showed that Christ is the only 
way to heaven, quoting St. John xiv. 6, as proof; but it 
showed it in a manner which had a strong controversial 
odour, and indicated an arrtire pensee. A little further 
on, accordingly, the tract went off into declamatory 
violence, the* substance of which is indicated in the words, 
" Mark well ! Infant baptism is not the door ; adult 
baptism is not the door ; ministers are not the door. . . . 
Let me entreat you to beware of resting on forms or 
ceremonies, on a profession of religion, or on membership 
with any visible Church whatever V I had reason to 
think the tract had been left for the purpose of counter 
acting my advice, that the dying woman should receive 
the Holy Communion. Accordingly, but without any 
reference to the tract itself, I at once said a Penitential 
Psalm, and read the first half of the sixth chapter of St. 
John s Gospel, expounding the miracle as an illustration 
of Christ s providing by His Divine Power nourishment 
for the bodies of a famishing multitude, and dispensing 



5 Tract No. 92. Dublin Tract Repository, and 9, Paternoster Row : 
London . 

R 2 



244 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

that nourishment to each by the hands of His ministers ; 
my prayer afterwards following in the same key. On the 
next two visits, I went on with the chapter, expounding 
the remainder of our Lord as the Provider of grace for 
famishing souls, which He dispenses in the Holy Com 
munion, and by the hands of His ministers. The analogy 
thus drawn out at length worked in with the strong 
language of the tract in its true part, and confuted its 
false part out of Holy Scripture ; and, although the 
tract fell upon soil greedy to receive its teaching, I am 
sure that the real Christ of the Scriptures was too strong 
for the phantom Christ which the tract, and those who 
circulated it, were ignorantly substituting. 

It seems to me to be of great importance to show our 
people by such methods of dealing with them, that we 
have no fear of the spirit of inquiry ; but that what we 
fear is a spirit which inquires too little, and is really 
a spirit of ignorance. A large proportion of the half- 
sceptics, who are now to be met with in all ranks of 
society, are young men who have thought a little about 
the principles of Christianity and practical religion, but 
who are so easily satisfied, that their studies never go 
more than skin deep. Consequently they are extremely 
open to the fashionable tone of the day about " doubt," 
"free inquiry," "inner consciousness," and so forth. 
Just as young men used to imagine themselves duplicate 
Byrons, because they went loose at the neck, when 
most people except Byron went about in tight cravats ; 
so now they will occasionally look you in the face 
with a solemn air, and profess that they are suffering 



PASTORAL CONVERSE. 245 

mental pangs of metaphysical labour in their "search 
after truth." They read Maurice s Essays, a scrap or 
two of Strauss or Schleiermacher, Essays and Reviews 
here and there, part of Colenso s thin octavo ; and having 
thus obtained a few ideas, and a great deal of peculiar 
phraseology, they take these as their stock in trade, with 
which they think they may confidently set up in oppo 
sition to old-world believers. 

We must be careful to carry our process of analysis 
beyond the speech of such men into their minds. There is 
some desire to know the truth about Christianity, and what 
belongs to it ; and some little error picked up from such 
reading as I have indicated. But we might run into 
danger of fixing the error if too much importance were 
attached to it, as held by persons of this class ; and of 
strengthening the conceit which is really their vice by 
omitting to combat it. These young men of our day are 
not like the vicious young infidels of a former generation, 
men whose infidelity was cut to fit their profligacy, they 
are not altogether unreflective in their habits, not by any 
means men who can be effectively met by dogmatic asser 
tions. Their fault is that they are far too easily satisfied ; and 
too little anxious for the truth which they imagine them 
selves to be searching after, when they are only learning 
to doubt. There are not a few such who may be made to 
feel ashamed of their superficiality by a pastor who has his 
resources well in hand, especially if he can adopt a tone of 
Socratic banter in his earlier dealings with them. And 
when their superficiality has been laid bare to their eyes, 
they will have a desire for more complete knowledge, 



246 PASTORAL CONVERSE. 

which will offer the clergyman an opportunity for pointing 
out to them sources of sound information on such subjects 
as form the topic of conversation, solid pabulum of old 
Divinity, which will soon disgust their minds with the 
flatulent second-hand Germanism that audaciously arro 
gates to itself the almost exclusive right to be considered 
" modern thought." 

In dealing with all error, it is best boldly to show that 
we are not afraid for our doctrine to be brought into the 
light of the Gospel to be tested by it. Let us declare and 
exhibit the highest reverence for truth and light wherever 
we may find them. And let us also show that we will be 
utterly unsparing towards Satanic simulations of truth, 
and to darkness which professes itself to be an angel of 
light. If we can persuade men to seek more light, and 
not to be content with what comes to them through the 
obscuring and distorting medium of human whims, fancies, 
and prejudices, we shall be waging the strongest war we 
can against error in all its forms. 

And, in all such contests, if we pray God to make our 
zeal the zeal of His house, and not leave us to any zeal of 
our own will, opinion, or party, we shall win the day as 
individual pastors seeking to save our own flock from 
harm ; and, as a collective clergy, striving for the honour 
of God in the Church of England, and the kingdom at 
large. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

MANY of the cases contemplated in the last two chapters 
are such as can be treated with success only by means of 
a more definite, personal, and individual intercourse than 
can be adopted in the course of ordinary parochial visitation. 
For neither pulpit teaching of the most faithful and judi 
cious, nor parochial visitations of the most diligent kind, 
make that distinct and definite mark upon the minds and cha 
racters of his people which the pastor will desire. Preaching 
will go a long way, with those who can " take it in," towards 
guiding them in the particular details of Christian doctrine 
and Christian life ; but experience of human nature shows 
that the number of those whose minds are so trained as to 
make them capable of doing this is comparatively small ; 
and that there is a far larger proportion of our flocks who 
are unable to make that definite and logical application of 
a sermon which would give it this value. And, again, 
though something may be done towards this pastoral 
guidance in detail when the clergyman is visiting his 
parishioners at their own houses, yet he almost always 



248 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

finds a rival there in the shape of domestic affairs, hospita 
lity, or business. 

Detailed ^ ar ^ e more effectual way of making this 

guidance impression in detail upon the character is to 

best given 

at the par- get people to come to the clergyman at his 
own house, as freely as it has become the cus 
tom for him to go to theirs. If they thus come, whether 
it be for instruction or guidance, they come with a definite 
purpose connected with religion ; and, making that the 
business of the hour, there is nothing to interfere with the 
pastor in the pursuit of his object, and much less of dis 
traction than there would otherwise bo on the other side. 
It may not be easy to get English people to come to their 
clergyman s house in this way ; but I feel convinced that 
much advantage is gained by it, and that the gain is 
worth a persevering effort to obtain it. To break down 
the reserve towards clergymen which prevents it being 
done is something ; but it is far more to be able to indi 
vidualize the flock so as fully to instruct and guide them 
in the religious life ; and this cannot be done otherwise, 
except with the sick. 

. Instruction Classes. 

A good opening for such personal intercourse 
uSJed erS ma y be found in the cultivation of Bible, Prayer 

there by Book, and Communion classes, which are some- 
classes. 

thing intermediate bet wen public and private 

intercourse, and still better by means of the Religious 
Societies which are referred to in the end of the eleventh 
chapter. These bring parishioners into a habit of " finding 



PASTOKAL GUIDANCE. 249 

their way " to the clergyman s study or parish room, and 
extinguish that extreme and absurd diffidence which is so 
commonly felt about seeing him within his own doors. 
By arranging an easy mode of access a great point and 
by making those who come feel that they are really 
welcome, even the most timid may be got to have a sort of 
home feeling towards the accustomed room at the parsonage 
such as they have towards the Church itself. 

Classes of this kind will be found extremely useful for 
supplementing all other work of instruction, and for in- 
graining truth into the mind. They admit of a detail 
which would be out of place in the pulpit ; and they also 
allow the teacher to adopt a tutorial rather than a pro 
fessorial system ; to use a combination of the catechetical 
and the Socratic method which vivifies the knowledge 
imparted, making its communication more interesting ; 
and also solidifies it by drawing out the reasoning powers, 
and not trusting merely to dogmatic teaching on the one 
side, or to memory on the other. " The parson once 
demanded after other questions," says Herbert, "about 
man s misery ; Since man is so miserable what is to be done ? 
And the answerer could not tell. He asked him again, 
What he would do if he were in a ditch ? This familiar 
illustration made the answer so plain, that he was even 
ashamed of his ignorance ; for he could not but say, he 
would haste out of it as fast as he could. Then he pro 
ceeded to ask, whether he could get out of the ditch alone, 
or whether he needed a helper, and who tvas that helper ? 

This is the practice which the parson so much 

commends to all his fellow-labourers ; the secret of whose 



250 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

good consists in this ; that at sermons and prayers men 

may sleep, or wander ; but when one is asked a question, 

he must discover what he is 1 ." And while 

Which drive ... o m 

instruction instruction in the Holy Scriptures and Theo 
logy, in the history and use of the Prayer 
Book, in Ecclesiastical History, or in Christian morals is 
thus driven home, it is given under circumstances which 
will prevent the knowledge gained from being intellectual 
only and unspiritual. Reverent habits and modes of thought 
may be firmly grounded, a devotional knowledge and an 
intelligent devotion originated, and those thus trained will 
learn to use not heart and voice only, but the understand 
ing also in the service of their God, by whom that under 
standing is given. 

. Pastoral Advice. 

But instruction is not the only purpose for which a 
pastor is called upon to encourage and cultivate the free 
access of his people to himself. When a thorough and 
habitual confidence is established between them, there will 
be sure to be many appeals to him for advice, which he 
may use as most profitable opportunities for assisting those 
who come to him in the progress of their religious life. 
The broad outlines of right and wrong are easily distin 
guishable by any ordinarily well-brought up 
much in de- Christian ; but the detail and particular appli- 
tails of Chris- ca ^ n of moral laws require thought, logic, 

tian morals. 

book-knowledge, and much acquaintance with 
human nature ; and these are not qualifications possessed 

1 Herbert s Works, i. 161. 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 251 

by the multitude. It would be a great advantage to 
many persons to be able to go to their clergyman to seek 
his guidance on doubtful points respecting their Christian 
duty in the affairs of common life, as they would go to their 
solicitor for advice in matters of law. For want of such 
counsel the halting half- decisions of an ill-informed con 
science frequently open the way to declension. "Well- 
meaning persons fall into sin before they know where their 
course is leading them. Sinful habits become fixed and 
firmly rooted, which might have easily been torn up when 
they were just beginning to form ; and the persons yielding 
to their power at last would have been glad to have eradi 
cated their first germ, if they had certainly known that it 
was the germ of a sin. 

"Herein indeed," says Herbert again, "is 
the greatest ability of a parson, to lead his b^a Casuist 



people exactly in the ways of truth, so that 
they neither decline to the right hand nor to the left. 
Neither let any think this is a slight thing. For every 
one hath not digested, when it is a sin to take something 
for money lent, or when not ; when it is a fault to discover 
another s faults, or when not ; when the affections of the 
soul in desiring or procuring increase of means, or honour, 
be a sin of covetousness or ambition, and when not ; when 
the appetites of the body in eating, drinking, sleep, and 
the pleasure that comes with sleep, be sins of gluttony, 
drunkenness, sloth, lust, and when not, and so in many 
circumstances of actions. Now if a shepherd know not 
which grass will bane, or which not, how is he fit to be a 
shepherd ? Wherefore the parson hath thoroughly can- 



252 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

vassed all the particulars of human actions, at least all 
those which he observeth are most incident to his parish V 
It is not every clergyman who could thus trust himself to 
be adviser to his parishioners in the details of Christian 
morality, universally as clergymen are so constituted in 
respect to the general guidance which may be given from 
the pulpit. Something of a judicial mind is required in 
those who would advise soundly and promptly ; and, while 
books and logic will go far, only long experience will give 
that matured knowledge of human nature which will make 
a clergyman s decisions entirely what they ought to be. 
Divines of former days seem to have been great adepts in 
this part of their work ; and some of their " Cases of con 
science " (especially the nine bearing Bishop Sanderson s 
name) are admirable examples of the elaborate and com 
plete way in which they arrived at their decisions. But 
with more humble qualifications than those of Sanderson, 
a clergyman may be a sound counsellor to his flock in 
ordinary matters of Christian law. And by becoming so 
he may preserve many an one from declension ; may stop 
in their outset many differences which would otherwise 
have become serious quarrels ; and may be able to suggest 
many subjects for reflection (and perhaps for repentance) 
to those who come for his advice, the very mention of 
which in any other way would have quite alienated his 
parishioners from him. The effect of such work on the 
character of the latter cannot be overrated, especially in a 
day of vague morality like our own. 

2 Herbert s Works, i. 128. 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 253 

. Confession. 

This brings us to the consideration of a subject which 
would a few years ago have been thought by many clergy 
men to be altogether beyond the pale of a volume treating 
of the principles and practice of pastoral work in the Church 
of England; but which it would be impossible to omit 
noticing now, without a serious dereliction of duty on the 
part of a writer who professes to speak of pastoral work 
with reference to the best interpretations of it, 
and in all its parts. If I were to say nothing Reasons for 
about the pastoral use of Confession, I should Confession. 
be justly chargeable with omitting to notice 
that which many holy, far-sighted, and experienced 
clergymen look upon as a very valuable part of the 
pastor s work, and which many lay people of our day 
actually demand as a right from the clergy. 

The fact is, that confession has always been 
used more or less by the clergy and laity of the Its use 
Church of England, and even by Protestant names, 
dissenters, but under some other name. John 
Newton was practically confessor to a large number of 
persons in the circles of London society, during the eight 
years of his life at St. Mary s, Woolnoth. Scott, the 
commentator, received people to private interviews, of a 
character closely analogous to confession, at the vestry 
of the Lock Chapel. Mr. Simeon held a similar position 
among the undergraduates of Cambridge to that held by 
Newton among the religious people of London. Almost 
all zealous clergymen of the Evangelical school were 



254 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

accustomed to encourage their people in opening out their 
hearts to them, "telling their experience," as it was 
called, for the sake of gaining spiritual advice and help 
from their pastors ; and they were also encouraged in 
going at once to the vestry, if their consciences had been 
awakened by the sermon, for this purpose 3 . In such cases, 
the confession was made, but a prayer for pardon or for 
conversion was used in the place of Absolution. With 
respect to less recent days than those of the Evangelical 
school, it is a fact that there is hardly a Divine of the 
Church of England, from Archbishop Cranmer to Bishop 
Tomline, who has written on the subject of penitence, and 
has not referred to Confession and Absolution as an ordi 
nance of the Church of England. 

For these reasons it would be presumptuous to consider 
the subject of Private Confession as altogether out of court 
in treating of a modern clergyman s work ; and whatever 
may be my own inclinations, or those of my readers, it 
is our duty to see, first, what are the principles of the 
Church of England respecting it, as shown in her laws 
and formularies, and, secondly, how those principles are to 
be carried out in the practice of a modern pastor. 

I. The specific references to Private Con- 
U fession contained in the official documents of 



Church on fa church of England are the four following. 

the subject. 

(1) A Rubric enjoins that sick persons shall be 

3 In my own boyhood I remember being taken (when under strong 
religious impressions) to an Evangelical clergyman of the most extreme 
school, for a purpose exactly analogous to confession; though the much- 
respected relative who took me, and the clergyman himself, would have 
energetically repudiated the application of that name to the interview. 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 255 

moved to make special confessions. (2) An Exhortation 
enjoins persons to go to a clergyman to confess, and to 
receive absolution, if they cannot quiet their consciences 
by private self-examination. (3) A Canon enjoins secrecy 
on all clergymen receiving confessions. (4) A Homily 
refers to Private Confession as an usage not forbidden in 
the Church of England . 

(1) The Rubric is contained in the Office for the Visi 
tation of the Sick : " Here shall the sick person be moved 
to make a special Confession of his sins, if he feel his 
conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After 
which Confession, the Priest shall absolve him (if he 
humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort." The 
Absolution so enjoined being as follows : " Our Lord 
Jesus Christ, who hath left power to His Church to ab 
solve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, 
of His great mercy, forgive thee thine offences ; And by 
His authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all 
thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
of the Holy Ghost. Amen." The words " be moved to " 
were introduced at the last revision of the Prayer Book in 

* I am not quite sure that a fifth ought not to be added. The rubric 
before the Communion Service is : 

" So many as intend to be partakers of the Holy Communion shall signify 
their names -to the curate, at least some time the day before." This is 
taken from Hermann s Consultation, 207 : " We will that the pastors 
admit no man to the Lord s Supper, which hath not first offered himself to 
them; and after that he hath first made a confession of his sins, being 
catechized, he receive absolution according to the Lord s Word .... and 
for this purpose let the people be called together at eventide the day be 
fore." In Ireland a bell is still rung the day before " Sacrament Sunday," 
the original purpose of which was that here referred to. 



256 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

1662 ; and it must be allowed that they give the Rubric a 
force, as regards the priest, which they did not possess 
before. As it now stands, this injunction imposes on the 
clergy the duty of persuading the sick to make private 
or special confessions, of receiving those confessions, and 
of giving absolution, should the sick person s penitence be 
so sound, as that it can be said he " humbly " as well as 
" heartily " desires it. 

(2) The Exhortation is the third paragraph of the 
warning exhortation to the Holy Communion: "And 
because it is requisite, that no man should come to the 
Holy Communion, but with a full trust in God s mercy, 
and with a quiet conscience ; therefore, if there be any of 
you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience 
herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him 
come to me, or to some other discreet and learned minister 
of God s "Word, and open his grief ; that by the ministry 
of God s Holy Word he may receive the benefit of ab 
solution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the 
quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple 
and doubtfulness." 

In the original form of this exhortation (1549), there 
was a further period of about equal length with the above 
paragraph, which seems to indicate that an apologetic 
tone was deemed expedient at the earlier period of the 
Reformation, for which there was no necessity afterwards. 
This I subjoin, as it also elucidates the meaning of our 
present exhortation, and contains some wise words very 
applicable to ourselves at the present time. " Requiring 
such as shall be satisfied with a general confession, not to 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 257 

be offended with them that do use, to their further satisfy 
ing, the auricular and secret confession to the priest ; nor 
those also which think needful or convenient, for the 
quietness of their own consciences, particularly to open 
their sins to the priest, to be offended with them that are 
satisfied with their humble confession to God, and the 
general confession to the Church. But in all things to 
follow and keep the rule of charity, and every man to be 
satisfied with his own conscience, not judging other men s 
minds or consciences; where as he hath no warrant of 
God s Word to the same." 

(3) The 113th Canon ends with an injunction of secrecy 
on confessors in the following words : " Provided always, 
That if any man confess his secret and hidden sins to the 
minister, for the unburdening of his conscience, and to 
receive spiritual consolation and ease of mind from him ; 
we do not any way bind the said minister by this our 
constitution," [respecting the presentation of offenders] 
"but do straitly charge and admonish him, that he do 
not at any time reveal and make known to any person 
whatsoever any crime or offence so committed to his trust 
and secrecy, (except they be such crimes as by the laws 
of this realm his own life may be called into question for 
concealing the same,) under pain of irregularity." 

(4) In " the Second Part of the Homily of Repentance " 
it is said that "if any do find themselves troubled in 
conscience, they may repair to their learned curate or 
pastor, or to some other godly learned man, and show 
the trouble and doubt of their conscience to them, that 
they may receive at their hand the comfortable salve of 



258 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

God s Word;" by which phrase was no doubt meant the 
word of absolution, as ordained by our Lord, and referred 
to in the Absolution previously quoted from the Office for 
the Visitation of the Sick. 

II. From these authoritative statements we 
have to draw out the principles of the Church 



from the o f England in respect to the use of Confession 

preceding. 

and Absolution. The absence of any more 
stringent injunction is also, under the circumstances of 
the case, an important piece of evidence, and even autho 
rity, not lightly to be passed over. 

a. It is quite clear that the private confession of sins 
to a priest is considered to be of much value to certain 
persons, under certain circumstances ; also, that it is no 
where forbidden, but is in several places recommended, 
and enjoined. 

|3. A clergyman is bound to receive those of his own 
parishioners who wish to confess their sins to him, and, 
under particular specified circumstances, to exhort and 
persuade them to do so. He is also bound to absolve 
those who thus confess, if their penitence is such as to 
make them fit for absolution. It is also evident that it 
would be a want of charity if he refused to receive any 
who (wishing to use the liberty allowed to the laity 
of going out of their parishes) came to him for the same 
purpose, though not belonging to his own flock. 

7. That the Church of England neither enjoins nor 
prohibits frequent or habitual private confession ; nor 
any where recognizes it as a part of her pastoral system. 

8. That private confession is not essential to salvation. 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 259 

The Church of Rome has authoritatively decreed that 
"This sacrament of penance is necessary unto salvation 
for those who have fallen after baptism ; even as baptism 
itself is for those who have not as yet been regenerated;" 
and that confession was "instituted by the Lord, and 
is of Divine right necessary to all who have fallen after 
baptism 5 ." If such had been the doctrine of the Church 
of England, that doctrine would undoubtedly have been 
stated as clearly as it is in the case of the two sacraments 
"generally necessary for salvation." And this would 
have been the more necessary, because the only places 
where confession is enjoined appear to represent it as 
essential only under particular circumstances; while the 
Exhortation of 1549 expressly speaks in the most chari 
table terms of those who do not think confession ne 
cessary for themselves, without giving the slightest 
intimation that they are running into danger by its 
omission. 

III. From the principles thus deduced, there can be no 
doubt the Church of England contemplates that the duty 
of receiving the private confessions of her 

f 11 The pastor s 

members may tall upon a clergyman at any duty as con- 
time of his pastoral life; and that he ought to fessori jotto 

be evaded. 

be prepared to act when the time comes. It 
is a painful duty, at least, I cannot enter into the feel 
ings of those to whom it is otherwise, but the pastor 
has no right to evade it ; and he must undertake it as 
he does other duties of his office, for the love of God and 

5 Cone. Trident. Sess. XIV. c. ii., Iv. 
S 2 



260 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

of the souls committed to his charge. It is almost un 
necessary, perhaps, to add that he need be under no 
scruple on account of the objection often raised, that to 
hear confessions and to absolve penitents is an undue 
assumption of authority on the part of one human being 
towards another. He acts in the Name of the Chief 
Pastor, not in his own ; and acts in obedience to the 
rules of that Church from which he receives his com 
mission as a minister of God. To those, however, who, 
like myself, feel the painfulness of the duty strongly, I 
would suggest one mitigating reflection, which is, that 
the mere unburdening of the conscience is to some 
persons a source of spiritual strength in their contest 
with sin, while the absolution, faithfully and worthily 
received, is one of the greatest blessings which one human 
being can be the means of conveying to another. 

IV. A careful consideration of the principles 



Whom to ^ UB 8e t <j owrL f or our guidance, will also lead 

persuade to 

confess. to the conclusion that there are certain well- 
defined cases in which it is the duty of the 
pastor to " move " the sick to make a " special confession 
of their sins," and to exhort others to do so who cannot 
quiet their consciences by self-examination, confession 
without the private intervention of a priest, and the abso 
lutions of the public services. 

It seems, for instance, as if the use of Con- 

by violence, fession, Absolution, and (if possible) the Holy 

Communion, would meet the necessity of the 

case in those instances to which I have referred in a note 

on p. 205 ; where, from accident, battle wounds, or sudden 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 261 

mortal sickness, it is evident that there must be no delay 
in settling affairs both of the body and the soul. In such 
cases I have one vividly present to my memory as I 
write the clergyman called in may be a total stranger to 
the sufferer. He does not know whether that sufferer has 
led a religious or a wicked life, and relatives or friends 
are little likely to tell him the whole truth, even if they 
know it. He has no circumstances to guide him to the 
course he has to take, but the fact that a sinner lies before 
him, who, whether his sins are many or few, is about to 
appear before the judgment-seat of God. I have had the 
cry of the poor dying sufferer, and of his weeping relatives 
ring in my ears in such a case, " Do something for me ! " 
" Oh, lead him to make his peace with God before he 
goes ! " What better way could I devise under these cir 
cumstances than that suggested by the Visitation Office ? 
to do all I could to move the dying man to "make a 
special confession of his sins," to comfort him with " the 
benefit of absolution," and to draw him as near as I could 
to the mercies and blood-shedding of his Redeemer by 
giving him the Holy Sacrament of which that Redeemer 
said, " Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, 
hath eternal life ; and I will raise him up at the last day." 
If any should reply that earnest prayer and the reading of 
Holy Scripture would have been equally effectual to the 
end in view, I can only say (1) that I do not see on what 
ground such an assertion is made, and (2) that these are 
part of the course recommended 6 . 

6 It may be observed that Confession and the Holy Communion are almost 
invariably used in the case of criminals sentenced to death, shortly before 
their execution. 



262 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

But it is often said that the injunction of the 
Sick persons 

offering Visitation Office does not apply alone to those 
penitence. extreme cases in which immediate death is cer 
tain : and there is assuredly no such limitation 
n the words "sick person," nor in the general character 
of the Office. It will therefore be the duty of the pastor 
to consider how far any ordinary sickness may be so 
attended by a good promise of repentance as to call upon 
him to act literally on the words of the rubric. Herbert 
says, " Besides this, in his visiting the sick or otherwise 
afflicted, he followeth the Church s counsel, namely, in 
persuading them to particular confession ; labouring to 
make them understand the great good use of this ancient 
and pious ordinance, and how necessary it is in some 
cases V It seems to me that no one can lay down for 
another any rules to be adopted in the selection of such 
cases : but that, having regard to the duty imposed upon 
him by the Church and to the spiritual condition of the 
sick person, each clergyman must decide for himself when 
and how, or whether at all, to advise confession as an aid 
to penitence. 

With respect to those who are in health, the 
h 10 ifh in on ^ guides given to us by the Church are the 
passage in the Exhortation to Communion, and 
the few words in the Homily " Of Repentance," both of 
which have already been quoted. In applying the prin 
ciples so indicated, it would seem to be the pastor s duty 
sometimes to follow up the public exhortation by an exhor 
tation in private. There are often cases of wicked persons, 
such as those described in the former part of the Com- 

7 Herbert s Works, i. 155. 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 263 

munion Service exhortation, who become much, impressed 
with the necessity of repentance, and have great desire to 
repent, but who, at the same time, know nothing whatever 
of any way of "quieting their consciences/ except the 
way of those fanatics who think that to " feel pardoned " 
is all that is necessary to a reconciliation with God. Such 
persons may have a desire for the Holy Communion, and 
it may be the wish of the pastor that they should even 
tually partake of it ; but there is some danger that they 
may drift into an unrepentant participation of it, if their 
consciences are not thoroughly enlightened as to the 
greatness of sin and the nature of repentance. It is pro 
bable that a real conviction of sin in such cases will often 
lead persons to wish to " open their griefs " to the clergy 
man, and " receive the benefit of absolution." The same 
may be said also of those who have the weight of some 
special sin or sins, such as dishonesty, seduction, or pro 
fligate living, on their consciences. And it is also plain 
that they who complain that they cannot " quiet their own 
consciences," that their own unassisted repentance seems 
imperfect, that they cannot be " satisfied with a general 
confession," are likely to be much benefited by the adop 
tion of the course under consideration. All of such cases 
can, without hesitation, be classified as among those con 
templated by the bare words of Church of England formu 
laries; and others might no doubt be included, without 
any violation whatever of the principles there laid down. 

V. But, notwithstanding the variety of cases L; mitat ; ons 
which thus seem to come within the range indicated by 
of the principles laid down by the Church rules. 



264 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

on this subject, it must certainly be evident to every 
one carefully studying the actual and authorized sources 
of those principles that there are certain limitations by 
which we ought to be guided in our use of confession, 
which restrict us, for the most part, to those who have 
been spoken of as fit subjects for it in the preceding 
pages. 

It has been already shown that it is quite 
Confession a impossible to suppose that confession is es- 

tomc for the 

weak. teemed necessary to salvation by the Church 

of England. It may be added that, at least 
with those who are in bodily health, confession is set forth 
by the Church of England as a spiritual medicine for the 
weak, and not as food for the daily nourishment of the 
strong. It is " when they cannot quiet their consciences," 
that persons are exhorted to confess their sins privately to 
a priest ; that is, when they cannot, after honest and 
faithful self-examination, confess their sins honestly, faith 
fully, and fully to God, and accept the public absolution 
as a declaration of forgiveness for the sins they have so 
confessed. Now there are many persons who are both 
competent and willing to do this ; persons whose intellect 
and conscientiousness will insure them against any serious 
mistake, even if they have no assistance from a clergyman. 
Such persons as these may be said to be so strong (in the 
matter of which we are treating) as to stand in no need of 
the spiritual tonic provided by the Church for those who 
are weak. If such persons voluntarily seek the " benefit 
of absolution " in private, their confession ought un 
doubtedly to be received by the pastor to whom they 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 265 

apply : but it seems to me to be a deviation from the prin 
ciples of the Church of England to exhort them to do so, 
as if honest, searching confession to God, and the personal 
application of the public absolution did not avail for a 
perfect repentance. The Exhortation of 1549 is certainly 
more in accordance with the general tone of the Church of 
England ; and although now omitted from our formularies, 
there is no proof whatever that the principles on which it 
was founded have been altered by its omission or by any 
other authoritative act of the Church. 

Again, the frequent or habitual use of con 
fession is not provided for, nor can I see that it 
is recognized by the Church of England. The jjotprovided 
utmost that can be said is that it is an open 
question. If so, then the pastor assumes a grave respon 
sibility who recommends such habitual use of the ordinance 
to his flock; a responsibility which he assumes without 
actual support from the Church of which he is a minister. 
He should carefully consider what the consequences will be 
of the advice he gives ; and should also carefully examine 
the grounds on which it is given ; whether they are such 
as are a fair foundation for a clergyman of the Church of 
England to build upon, or whether they are the opinions 
and practice of foreign Churches, adapted for persons ac 
customed to southern habits, perhaps, but not for those 
whom an English clergyman has ordinarily to deal with. 
If habitual confession had been intended in the Church of 
England, it would hardly have been left unnoticed. If it 
had been the practice of the Church of England, there 
would have been more definite mention of it in the writings 



266 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

of her divines. The farthest, however, that any of the 
latter ever go towards advocating such a practice is shown 
in the following extract from Jerenry Taylor s " Guide to 
the penitent ;" and it is clear that even in this passage the 
writer is not contemplating the case of a regular com 
municant, or a person in strong spiritual as well as bodily 
health. 

" Besides this examination of your conscience (which may 
be done in secret between God and your own soul), there 
is great use of holy Confession : which, though it be not 
generally in all cases, and peremptorily commanded, as if 
without it no salvation could possibly be had ; yet you arc 
advised by the Church, under whose discipline you live, 
that before you are to receive the Holy Sacrament, or 
when you are visited with any dangerous sickness, if you 
find any one particular sin or more that lies heavy upon 
you, to disburthen yourself of it into the bosom of your 
confessor, who not only stands between God and you to 
pray for you, but hath the power of the keys committed to 
him, upon your true repentance, to absolve you in Christ s 
name from those sins which you have confessed to him." 

Nor is it without reason that so much feeling is shown 
by English people against the practice of private habitual 
confession. It is allowed even by the strongest advocates of 

the practice that it is apt to destroy that proper 
Lessens pro- m 

per self- self-reliance which every Christian ought to 
have, and to make him walk on human crutches 
rather than depend on the Divine and supernatural support 
of grace. The sense of personal responsibility is weakened 
in a serious degree. "There are persons," says Mr. 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 267 

Gresley, " females especially, who have brought themselves 
so entirely to yield their conscience to the guidance of 
others, that they have no will or choice of their own : and 
it is clear that if such persons fell into the hands of design 
ing priests, they might be made the tools of much iniquity." 

The frequent, habitual private confession of venial sins 
is, in fact, trifling with the ordinance, and throwing a 
slight upon the general confession and public absolution of 
the daily and the Eucharistic services. Instead of encou 
raging such a habit, the pastor should rather teach his 
people how to "quiet their consciences" by using for 
ordinary life the ordinary means of grace : and he should 
endeavour to lead them out of that moral weakness which 
incapacitates them from making an unassisted confession 
to God, and from receiving His pardon in the public ordi 
nances provided for that very purpose. 

It is impossible not to observe that confession 
appears to possess a kind of fascination for some 

niinds, especially for those of women living in 

r . J . 

a narrow circle of society ; and that under its 
influence they are dangerously liable to a sort of spiritual 
valetudinarianism in which they do not so much seek 
strength from the remedy used as a confirmation in the 
idea of their weakness, and to be treated as weakly per 
sons. I cannot think it is wise in a pastor to overlook 
this fact, or to disregard it. A physician might find 
several good reasons for continuing to treat as really 
unable to walk one whom he knows an alarm of fire would 
startle into robust action and energy in a moment. But 
the physician of souls must not run the danger of really 



268 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

weakening the moral strength which God has given by 
under- estimating its amount, or seeming to do so. He 
must therefore be on the watch against any such morbid 
sensitiveness in those who apply to him to receive their con 
fessions ; and above all must carefully guard against giving 
encouragement to the imagination, in the invention of sins. 
St. Paul enjoins tenderness towards weak brethren, but he 
certainly would not advise us to encourage their weakness, 
and add to their number. 

Another danger attending frequent private 

Danger of ... . . , .* 

indifference confession is one oi exactly the opposite cha 
racter, that of becoming indifferent to sin. If it 
is used, not from morbid sensitiveness, or blindness to the 
value of the public ordinance, but because the person really 
has serious sins to confess time after time, the frequent 
repetition of those sins shows that the confession of them 
in private has not produced the effect for which it was 
partly used, that of strengthening the moral nature, and 
enabling the sinner to stand more firmly against tempta 
tion. In such cases there is apt to grow up in the mind 
some such idea as this, "I have got rid of my sins by 
confession and absolution : I make a fresh start with 
a moral tabula rasa : if I am unfortunate enough to give 
way to temptation again, I can again go through the same 
course." Here again I may quote from the advocate for 
confession whose words I have already used. "The 
avowals of foreign writers on this subject afford convinc 
ing evidence that, where confession is periodical and com 
pulsory, persons will too frequently come as a matter of 
course, and without due contrition, and confess their sins, 



PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 269 

without forming any decided resolution of forsaking them. 
Confessors also become careless and perfunctory ; while it 
requires even more than the average skill and holiness in 
the confessor to infuse a spirit of true contrition into these 
formal penitents ; consequently, there is a great danger of 
those who make such confession remaining really impeni 
tent, and deceiving their own souls V 

It is true that a faithful pastor would warn persons of 
this kind in the spirit of Ezekiel xviii. 24 ; but it becomes 
a serious question whether they are not more injured than 
benefited by the frequent use of private confession, and 
whether they ought not rather to be treated in another 
way. 

I have not based these suggestions in any degree upon 
the prejudices which are felt by English people against 
habitual confession, because it might be our duty to try 
and overcome them : nor have I referred to the objection, 
entertained by many good and wise men, that it often 
involves confidences with a third party, which the English 
character can never tolerate. For other reasons, and those 
of a strictly spiritual nature, it would seem unadvisable for 
a clergyman of the Church of England to encourage the 
habit in his flock ; and as it is not provided for by the 
Church, he is keeping strictly to her rules and spirit when 
he ordinarily limits the use of confession to the cases 
which have been mentioned as those seeming to call for 
its remedial and restorative application. 

Before parting with the subject of this chapter, it may 

8 Gresley s Ordinance of Confession, p. 136. 



270 PASTORAL GUIDANCE. 

be as well to refer again to the 113th Canon, 
reticence! The spirit of that Canon clearly extends to all 

kinds of confidential intercourse between a 
clergyman and his parishioners as well as to actual con 
fession. It is almost impossible to suppose that any pastor 
could be so forgetful of his duty as to transgress against 
the rule of absolute secrecy which is enjoined in con 
fession : but there would be more confidence between the 
clergy and their parishioners if the former made it more 
clear than they often do that the intercourse held with 
their parishioners was not a staple subject of domestic 
conversation. A parishioner may wish to make a com 
munication to his pastor, and very much object to the 
slightest hint of that communication being given to that 
pastor s wife or to any one else. There cannot be too 
close reticence in such matters : and if it is known that 
the lips of the clergy are sealed in respect to all commu 
nications made to them, not of a manifestly open kind, 
there will be much more disposition on the part of the 
laity to consult them for the good of their souls, and to 
seek that pastoral guidance of which an outline has been 
sketched in the preceding chapter. 



CHAPTER IX 

SCHOOLS. 

THE pastor s position in relation to the schools of his 
parish, is fixed partly by the inherent responsibilities of 
his office, and partly by the modern crystallization of 
fresh duties and cares around it . 

First, since the clergyman to whom cure 
of souls is committed has a comprehensive The pastoral 

, /> -n j i i T_ M car c of cliil- 

charge of all, young and old, he is necessarily 



the pastor of the children of his flock as well 
as of adults. And as in their infancy his duty towards 
them is to baptize them into the fold of the Good Shep 
herd, and at a later period to bring them before the 
Bishop for confirmation, so in the space between these 
epochs there lies an interval during several years of which 
it is his duty to look after them with a keen eye to see 
that they are receiving Christian training in the way that 
they should go. The clergy act, in general, as if this duty 
rested upon them only in respect to the children of the 

1 It may be noticed that Canons 77, 78, 79, referring to the licensing of 
schoolmasters by the Bishop, and the preference of clergymen for the office, 
apply to Grammar Schools only. Parochial schools are not even mentioned, 
e. g. in Bishop Burnet s Pastoral Care. 



272 SCHOOLS. 

poor ; and there is probably a much larger proportion of 
middle and upper class children than of the poor, who 
never come under the clergyman s eye or guidance, unless 
at the time preceding confirmation. But, although more of 
the pastor s personal labour may be required in the case of 
poor children than in that of the others, I do not see that 
there is any real distinction as regards the ultimate spiri 
tual responsibility ; and in this, as in other matters, class 
preference has led the clergy into a mischievous practical 
error, the result of which they feel deeply ; that of neglect 
ing the pastoral supervision of those children who grow 
up to form the influential classes of society. 

Secondly, the clergyman of modern days is 
educational recognized by society as its agent for all kinds of 
agents for matters connected with the education of those 

society. 

who have a claim or a partial claim upon a 
public provision of the means of education. There are two 
reasons why this is so. One is that the clergy have taken 
more practical interest in the work of educating the poor 
than have any other classes of society, and consequently 
most of the labour entailed has fallen into their willing 
hands. And the other is, that the old tradition still clings 
to the heart of the nation that the Church is its chief 
educator, and the clergy therefore the chief ministers of 
education as well as of religion. Such manifest advantages 
to practical religion result from this venerable educational 
theory, and it would be so extremely difficult for the clergy 
to act up to their responsibilities in feeding Christ s lambs, 
if it lost its hold upon society, that it is plainly the duty of 
every pastor to accept it willingly, although by so doing 



SCHOOLS. 273 

he will probably draw upon himself some inconveniences, 
responsibilities, and labours, which do not essentially 
belong to his office 2 . 

But the pastor should place before himself 
distinctly the object for which he thus under- pa s t oralduty 
takes to become practically responsible for towards edu- 
the education of the poor of his parish. It 
is that he may promote the training up of children in 
the "nurture and admonition of the Lord;" that they 
may under his influence become morally and religiously 
fitted to do their duty in that state of life to which 
it shall please God to call them. He may have strong 
views as to the necessity of intellectual training for the 
lower classes, but whether he has or not, their intel 
lectual training is not part of his pastoral obligation. His 
one end should be to exercise such influence over their 
education that it may be of a kind which shall make them 
better Christian citizens than they would have been without 
it ; and whether he promotes a high class of secular educa 
tion or discourages it, let him do so with this end in 
view. 

In carrying out his pastoral duties towards 
children, the clergyman must not confine him- Schools of 
self entirely to the children of the poor. At class. * g 
least in town parishes there will be schools for 

2 In the 1856 and 1857 volumes of the National Society s Monthly Paper, 
there are some Essays by the present writer on the duties of Churchmen 
with reference to National Education, and on its History, in which the course 
of it as Church-of-England education is traced from ancient to modern 
days. 

T 



274 SCHOOLS. 

the education of boys and girls of the middle classes, 
and where there is not a clergyman at the head of such 
establishments, it is his duty to seek admission to them 
for the purpose of giving religious instruction. In many 
cases, the offer of his services will be gladly accepted; 
and in few would it be declined if such offers were more 
common than they are. It will then become one of his 
weekly engagements to spend an hour on one or more 
days at such schools over a catechetical lecture on Holy 
Scripture, in which he will probably find it best to take 
the Catechism as his guide, and by means of which he 
may give many useful illustrations of the devotional ser 
vices of the Church. He will thus be continually laying 
a foundation for confirmation instruction ; and will, be 
sides, be imparting to children of the middle and higher 
classes a kind of knowledge in which they are often more 
deficient than the children of the poor. The time thus 
spent will be among the best of all the hours that the 
pastor expends on the work of education. He will be 
gaining access to minds which are afterwards to influence 
others, will be giving firmness to the general religious 
tone of the school, and will be preparing some of the 
comparatively alienated classes of society for accepting 
the Church-of-England system and its pastoral machinery 
with frankness and affection in their after life. 

I may remark here that the clergy should 

Endowed exercise great watchfulness with respect to any 

endowed schools that may exist in their 

parishes. In most cases they are ex officio trustees of 

such foundations, and have a good deal of power in their 



SCHOOLS. 275 

hands ; yet abuses have often sprung up which ought 
never to have been permitted, and which hinder their 
full usefulness. It is the positive duty of the clergyman 
to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the history 
of all eleemosynary foundations in his parish, and with 
the laws under which they are governed; and in few 
cases will he be doing a more real service to religion, as a 
man of education, than by such research, and by (if 
possible) acting upon it. But for his influence it would 
often happen, and does sometimes happen, even now, 
that good sound Grammar Schools would degenerate into 
mere " Commercial Academies," and the work of middle- 
class education become watered down to a miserable 
standard of learning, far below what was intended by the 
founders, what the institution is capable of giving, (if 
properly administered,) or what is fit for the class of youths 
who partake of its advantages. 

. Parish Schools. 

But it is in that which is distinctively called the parish 
or church or national school that the clergyman finds 
himself most completely master of the situation. It may 
be that he is wholly responsible for the funds by which 
it is maintained, beyond what is provided by the chil 
dren s pence; or that he is one of a committee of sub 
scribers; or one of the managers in a school under 
government inspection ; but in either case the practical 
management of the school rests almost entirely in his 
hands, and it depends chiefly upon him whether it is or 
is not what it ought to be. Supposing then that he has 

T 2 



276 SCHOOLS. 

found, or has secured the appointment of, a teacher, 
or of teachers in whose educational ability and religious 
principles he can have confidence, the work of the pastor 
in reference to such a school will generally mould itself 
under these three heads. (1) He must control, and take 
active part in the religious instruction of the children. 
(2) He will have to exercise a general supervision over 
every department of the school, for the purpose of making 
it efficient according to the requirements of the day, 
so that the Church school may be visibly the best school 
of its class in his parish. (3) The business management 
of the school will certainly rest upon his shoulders, and 
perhaps the responsibility of providing, or obtaining 
from his parishioners, the money necessary for its main 
tenance. 

With regard to the direct control to be ex- 
Necessity of ercised by the clergyman over the religion of 

religious 

education the school, it may be observed that the prin- 
admitted. ciple of the Church, that of conducting edu 
cation in subordination to religion, is much 
more generally admitted among thoughtful persons of 
every class than it used to be some years ago. "I be 
lieve," said Mr. Henley to the House of Commons, in 
1855, "that education, to be of value, and especially that 
which it is the duty of the State to promote, ought to be 
of that kind which trains the mind upon the solid founda 
tion of religious teaching, reaches the heart, and elevates 
the condition of the people, so that they may know what 
is, and how they are to do, their duty to God and man ; 
and doing their duty to God and man may successfully 



SCHOOLS. 277 

struggle through this life to the life to come 3 ." Such, 
in the main, is the opinion of most educated men ; and 
though some are jealous of the power acquired over the 
minds of the people by the Church of England in her 
schools, yet no one questions the right of the clergy to 
carry out their duty in all which can be claimed as be 
longing to their parochial jurisdiction. 

The pastor will have the satisfaction, then, of feeling 
that he is not opposed by the opinion of his generation, 
when he attaches primary importance to religious edu 
cation; and from his point of view, the theory of re 
ligious education will assume the form assumed by the 
well-known proposition, that true Christian education 
consists not so much in imparting knowledge as in draw 
ing out the grace of God for the work of life. Know 
ledge is good only when directed to a good end ; and it 
is so plain that good ends are not the natural seeking of 
unregenerate hearts, or those in which the grace of re 
generation lies dormant, that it is clear knowledge must 
be imparted with an eye to its control by grace. Know 
ledge is power, but there is such a thing as raising up 
a giant power in the unbridled intellectual faculty, whose 
action will be destructive to its possessors. 

"While, then, the necessities and tendencies of the age 
call for a high degree of secular instruction even in our 
schools for the labouring classes, it is plain that this 
increase of knowledge requires to be tempered by an 
active spirit of religion. In the days of childhood, at 

* Speech, May 3, 1855. 



278 SCHOOLS. 

least as much as, perhaps more than, at other times of 
life, the Christian must be looked upon by the pastor 
not only in respect to what God has made him by nature, 
but also as to what He has made him and will make 
him by grace ; and this principle must regulate all his 
course in the pastor s dealings with his parish school *. 

Hence it is exceedingly valuable to work the school 
definitely into the Church system of devotion, and not 
to rest only on the acquisition of religious knowledge 5 . 
No Church scholar should be permitted to grow up in a 
habit of not going to church on Sunday ; and, indeed, I 
would urge it as highly desirable that the school should 
attend daily morning prayer, as well as the Sunday ser 
vices. Every school begins its work with prayers ; and 
nothing can be more suitable (where the school is, as it 
ought to be, under the shadow of the Church) than for 
those prayers to be offered in God s house, and in the 
recognized forms of the daily service, that the young 



4 Sec Appendix C. 

5 The necessity of this was strikingly illustrated by the mortifying fact 
which Mr. Mann made public in his Educational Census of 1851. "At 
first sight it appears inevitable that, in course of time, the mass of the 
population, educated of necessity in Church -of-England schools, must 
gradually return to the Church ; but, in opposition to this natural anti 
cipation, is the curious fact that, while for many years past at least four- 
fifths of all the children who have passed through public schools must have 
been instructed in the day schools of the Church of England, concurrently 
with this a very rapid augmentation has been proceeding in the number 
of Dissenters, so that now they number very nearly half of the total popu 
lation of the country." There may be some improvement since 1851, but 
I can myself point out a mass of population of which Mr. Mann s words are 
still true, that Church schools do not make Church people. 



SCHOOLS. 279 

people may grow up in familiar acquaintance with the 
words and habits of Divine worship 6 . It is also an ex 
cellent habit for the clergyman, or one of them if there 
are several, to keep on his surplice after service, and cate 
chize then and there daily instead of giving the Scripture 
lesson in school. By an orderly exactness no more time 
need be occupied, and of course there is a great advantage 
in making the Scripture lesson so evidently a religious 
business. 

In marking out a course for himself and the 
school in the matter of religious instruction, instruction 
the clergyman should guard against the very 
prevalent error of modern education, that of taking too 
wide a range. It has long been felt by practical men 
that the diffusion of educative power over many sub 
jects is far inferior in its results to the concentration 
of it over a few, whether those results be considered 
as a matter of knowledge or of mental discipline 7 . 
This has been the case with the religious instruction 
imparted to the children of our National schools, almost 
as much as with other branches of education. To gain 
a minute acquaintance with the Holy Bible is the labour 
of a lifetime, not of a few years of childhood; and 
the endeavour to give such information is almost sure to 

6 Private schools may occasionally be found attending Divine service 
every morning ; and the short walk to and from church is, I am told, a great 
treat to the pupils, promotes their health, and is so contrived as to be no 
hindrance to their school work. 

7 This has been recognized in the Revised Code, which encourages the 
limitation of poor schools to the teaching of reading, writing, arithmetic, 
and religion. 



280 SCHOOLS. 

hinder children from gaining that broad knowledge of 
Bible history and doctrine which will be really useful to 
them as a guide of conduct and a preservative against 
error in their future life. The object of teaching the Holy 
Scriptures to children of ten or twelve years of age is not 
that they may for a short time have the details of its 
history at their fingers end, but that the outline of it may 
be so ingrained into their memory as to form a basis for 
subsequent teaching, or intelligent reading of the sacred 
volume 8 . The facts of Holy Scripture must not, indeed, 
be neglected, very far from it, but it should be the endea 
vour of the clergyman to secure such a knowledge of them 
on the part of his little ones as may have a moral as well 
as an historical hold upon their minds and memories. To 
use the Holy Bible only as an ordinary book of history 
might be used is to give up the most important part of its 
influence upon those who are learning it ; and while it is 
very questionable whether such an use of it by any one at 
any time of life must not have a damaging effect upon the 
mind, it is certain that the school life of poor children is 
too precious a time for us to permit any of the moral 
influence of the Bible lesson to be thrown aside by the 
teacher, whether clergyman or schoolmaster. Thus, while 

8 It is surprising to find how little the labouring classes really understand 
the most ordinary references to Holy Scripture which are made in the pulpit. 
But how can it be otherwise unless a more theological system of teaching it in 
schools is adopted ? Let the reader ask a few children to name without any 
prompting six of our Lord s ancestors ; he will probably find Joseph, Moses, 
Joshua, Samuel, Elijah named as five of the number, and David for the sixth. 
Yet the banie children will know many incidents in the lives of the persons 
named. 



SCHOOLS. 281 

the historical facts of the fall of man, of our Lord s ministry, 
or of St. Paul s life, are drilled into the memory of the 
children, let them be drilled in as the seed which the Sower 
went forth to sow, by the clergyman s elucidation of their 
connexion with the doctrines of our religion, and the prac 
tical conduct of the Christian life. Children have been 
known to answer glibly to a government inspector s ques 
tions about the facts of man s fall, and the facts of the 
Gospel, who had not the remotest idea of any connexion 
between the two sets of facts, or of the relation which both 
had to their own individual selves as Christian children. 
The parish clergyman will have to guard against such an 
erroneous system of teaching in himself and in his school 
master. In the young trained teachers of our day espe 
cially, there is sometimes too much tendency to use the 
Bible merely as a text-book, and to make the religious 
instruction a mere matter of smart answers to the govern 
ment inspector. A kind and friendly explanation of his 
views on the subject should therefore be given to the 
teacher by his clergyman in private; and his interest 
excited, as well as his co-operation secured, in the pastoral 
application of the Bible lessons which are given in his 
school 9 . The chief object of the clergyman in his inter- 

9 It is probable that caution on this point will be more than ever needed 
under the new Government system, since there will be a greater temptation 
than ever to " cram " the children for the inspector s examination : so much 
depending on his approval of the religious instruction. The inspectors have 
a great opportunity before them for giving a higher tone to the religious 
teaching of our schools, and it may be expected that some will avail them 
selves of it. But if a government inspector has had no pastoral experience, 
he is very likely to look still for statistical rather than moral " results," and to 



282 SCHOOLS. 

course with the children of his parish as well as with others, 
must be that of winning souls for Christ; and in this 

ask such questions as the well-known " Who slew a lion in a pit on a snowy 
day ? " or, " How many cubits square was the court of the Tabernacle ?" 

It may be a convenience to the reader for me to annex here the " Instruc 
tions " under which government inspectors are still required to act. They 
were issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1840. 

" INSTRUCTIONS TO HER MAJESTY S INSPECTOBS. 

" In the case of schools connected with the National Church, the inspectors 
will inquire, with special care, how far the doctrines and principles of the 
Church are instilled into the minds of the children. The inspectors will 
ascertain whether church accommodation of sufficient extent, and hi a proper 
situation, is provided for them ; whether their attendance is regular, and 
proper means taken to ensure their suitable behaviour during the service ; 
whether inquiry is made afterwards by their teachers how far they have 
profited by the public ordinances of religion which they have been attend 
ing. The inspectors will report also upon the daily practice of the school 
with reference to Divine worship ; whether the duties of the day are begun 
and ended with prayer and psalmody ; whether daily instruction is given in 
the Bible ; whether the Catechism and the Liturgy are explained, witli the 
terms most commonly in use throughout the authorized version of the Scrip 
tures. 

" They will inquire, likewise, whether the children are taught private 
prayers to repeat at home ; and whether the teachers keep up any inter 
course with the parents, so that the authority of the latter may be combined 
with that of the former in the moral training of the pupils. As an important 
part of moral discipline, the inspectors will inform themselves as to the 
regularity of the children in attending school, in what way registered, 
and how enforced; as to manners and behaviour, whether orderly and 
decorous; as to obedience, whether prompt and cheerful, or reluctant 
and limited to the time while they are under the master s eye ; and as to 
rewards and punishments, on what principles administered, and with what 
results. The inspectors will satisfy themselves whether the progress of the 
children in religious knowledge is in proportion to the time they have 
been at school ; whether their attainments are showy or substantial ; and 
whether their replies are made intelligently, or mechanically and by rote. 
The inspectors will be careful to estimate the advancement of the junior as 



SCHOOLS. 283 

object the schoolmaster must consider himself as a lay 
coadjutor of the pastor in no small degree. 

As a general rule, the clergyman s work in the religious 
instruction of a school (to view it now more in detail) 
will consist chiefly of thus supplementing the work of 
the master in the same department. The master, trained 
for the special purpose of teaching, will be able to im 
part knowledge of Scripture, the Catechism, or the Prayer 
Book, better than the clergyman, unless the latter has 
also had some training as a teacher of children. But the 
clergyman will be better able, from his theological edu 
cation, the more reflective character of his daily studies, 
and his constant dealings with many minds in the work 
of his parish outside the school, to give that practical tone 
to the lessons of which I have been speaking; and to 
make them conducive to the formation of religious cha 
racter. It will be of little use for me to enter into much 
detail as to the mode in which his own personal parti 
cipation in the religious instruction of the school is to 
be carried on, but I will venture to offer some general 
suggestions which may help those of my readers who 
have had but little experience in school work towards 
forming a plan of their own. 

1. There should be a good understanding be 
tween the clergyman and the ordinary teacher 
of the school, as to the subjects which are to cl(3r gyman 

and teacher, 
form the basis of the religious instruction for 

well as of the senior class, and the progress in each class of the lower as well 
as of the higher pupils. And in every particular case, the inspector will 
draw up a report, and transmit a duplicate of it, through the Committee of 
Council on Education, to the Archbishop of the Province." 



284 SCHOOLS. 

the year, or for some definite period, and as to the par 
ticular line to be taken in teaching them. It is a very 
excellent plan, and one which prevents much waste of 
power, for the clergyman to draw up a sketch of a series 
of lessons at the commencement of each school year or 
half-year, and to give a duplicate of it to the school 
master, as a guide to ensure their co-operation. Such a 
scheme appears to me to be even better than any text 
book or analysis, as it must necessarily reflect the general 
teaching of the pastor in his pulpit and his parochial 
ministrations, and so ensures a general consistency in the 
religious knowledge imparted by him, which dovetails 
that of one period of life into that of another, and makes 
a connected whole instead of a congeries of several parts. 
As an example of such a series, I annex one on the first 
year of our Lord s ministry in a foot-note ; but more 

1 " Series of Lessons on the First Year of our Lord s Ministry. 

1. Appearance and preaching of John Baptist, Matt. iii. 1 12. Mark i. 
18. Luke iii. 118. 

2. Baptism and temptation of Jesus Christ, Matt. iii. 13 17 ; iv. 1 11. 
Mark i. 913. Luke iii. 2123; iv. 113. 

3. Testimony of John Baptist concerning Jesus Christ immediately after 
the temptation : 

1. To the Priests and Levites, John i. 1928. 

2. To his own disciples, John i. 29 42. 

4. Jesus in Galilee, John i. 43 51 ; and at Cana (the first miracle), and 
at Capernaum, ii. 1 13. 

5. Jesus at Jerusalem: cleansing of the Temple, John ii. 13 25; inter 
view with Nicodemus, iii. 1 21. 

6. Jesus baptizes in Judea; John s last testimony concerning Jesus, John 
iii. 2236. 

7. Interview with the woman of Samaria, John iv. 1 42. 

8. Jesus returns to Galilee; lieals the nohlernan s son at Capernaum, 
John iv. 1351. 



SCHOOLS. 285 

may be learned by the experience gained in getting up 
such a series from private study than by any example ; 
and this the well-read pastor can easily do for himself 
with the assistance of Greswell s Harmony, and the late 
Dr. Townsend s useful Chronological Bible. 

2. Promote reverent handling and reverent 
use of the Bible by the manner in which in- ^bitsT^ 
struction is given in it, whether by the clergy 
man or the teacher. Both should show themselves to be 
in earnest, and require the children to be in earnest also. 
Loud and hurried voices, sharp, impatient expressions, 
a cold business-like tone, should be carefully avoided ; for 

9. Preaches at Nazareth, Luke iv. 14 32 ; and at Capernaum, Matt. iv. 
1217. Mark i. 14, 15. 

10. Calls four disciples, Matt. iv. 18 22 ; works many miracles, Mark i. 
1635. Luke iv. 3341. 

11. First circuit of Galilee, preaching and healing, "which occupied about 
three or four months, Mark i. 35 39. Luke iv. 42 44. Matt. iv. 23 25. 

[Sermon on the Mount, Matt. v. vi. vii. To be taught the children 
after they have gone through the history.] 

12. Miracle of the draught of fishes, Luke v. 1 11. 

13. Miracle of the cleansing of the leper, and others, Luke v. 12 16. 
Matt. viii. 24. Mark i. 4045. 

14. Cure of the paralytic and call of Matthew, Matt. ix. 2 9. Mark ii. 
114. Luke v. 1728. 

15. Objections of the Pharisees, and our Lord s answer, Mark ii. 15 22. 
Luke v. 2939. 

Places specially to be noted on tlie Map occurring in the above Lessons. 

Galilee Iturea Trachonitis Abilene The region about Jordan Beth- 
abara Bcthsaida Cana Capernaum Jerusalem JEnon Salim Sa 
maria Jacob s Well Sychar Xazareth Mount Gerizim The land of 
Zebulon and Nephthali The sea of Galilee The various cities and villages 
of Galilee [estimated by Josephus at 204, the population of each upon an 
average not less than 15,000 souls] Syria Decapolis The Mount of 
Beatitudes." 



286 SCHOOLS. 

they arc sure to be reflected in some way in the children, 
and to lay the foundation of habits which are not those 
one desires to see in Christian people. 

3. Let the catechetical method of instruction 
catechize be adopted rather than the lecture form of 

teaching. Experience proves that the former 
alone engages the interest of children, and sets 
their reasoning powers to work on what they have learned. 
Care should, of course, be taken to attain the art of speak 
ing to children in simple language, and plain illustration. 
Answers should be given by individual children, not by 
the class collectively ; though occasionally the latter mode 
is suitable and convenient for impressing upon all the 
answer which has been given by one or two previously ; 
and watchfulness is needed to see that such answers are 
not taken from- the few forward children of the class 
exclusively. 

4. It is best not to extend the actual reading 
little only beyond a few verses. The Bible lesson is not a 

reading lesson. The following is the plan sug 
gested by a Board of Education, with the 
sanction of the very high practical authority of Arch 
deacon Allen and Mr. Flint. 

" Method of giving a Bible Lesson. To read about six 
verses ; select next those words in these on which the 
sense much depends, and define them ; then question on 
the subject-matter; and lastly, draw moral lessons from 
the whole moral lessons should always be drawn from 
facts the teachers to be calm and composed, and to make 
frequent pauses. A lesson which is a continual rattle 



SCHOOLS. 287 

from beginning to end fails in effect ; a Bible lesson should 
promote reverence, not emulation and quickness so much ; 
the lesson should begin with a prayer, such as Open 
Thou my eyes that I may behold, &c. Such chapters as 
Ileb. xi., Acts vii., should be frequently taken as an 
epitome of Bible history ; lessons should be given on the 
graces and failings, illustrated by the lives of Scrip 
tural characters, and a precept on the grace or failing in 
question should close the lesson for the pupils to commit 
to memory." 

5. Let the Bible lessons for the half-year be 
limited to a small range of Holy Scripture, take tew 
There is danger of the children learning no- Wlde a 



o 



ran^e. 



thing if their lessons are extended over four 
or five books of the Bible, read chapter after chapter ; or, 
at least, of the knowledge acquired being of an indefinite 
and unconnected kind, very different from what it ought 
to be in proportion to the expenditure of time and labour. 
If a child carries away from school, at twelve or thirteen 
years of age, a clear knowledge of the book of Genesis, 
our Lord s history, and the early chapters of the Acts of 
the Apostles, it does credit to the labours of the teacher 
and the clergyman. Too often they leave school with a 
fragmentary recollection of the more interesting parts 
of Holy Scripture, impressed (and not very deeply) upon 
the memory, rather than the understanding. If less were 
attempted, more would be done. 

6. The good old practice of learning portions 
of Holy Scripture "by heart" is too much 

slighted in our modern high-pressure system Scripture 

r by heart, 

of education. Perhaps there is an idea abroad 



288 SCHOOLS. 

that since Bibles are so abundant as to be in every house 
and every bed-room, the reading of Scripture may be 
supposed to supply the place of memory. But if it were 
read in proportion to the abundance of the supply, the 
reading would often fail to provide an equivalent for that 
tenacious grasp of long ago learned texts on the mind, 
which keeps them ready for use in times of temptation, 
sickness, or affliction ; and makes them the basis of devout 
meditation to many a man in the midst of his hard labour, 
or to aged persons who can no longer read. Moreover, it 
is impossible to remember the use made by our blessed 
Lord of Holy Scripture in His temptation, without seeing 
how valuable a pre-occupation of the mind with portions 
of it may be to children in their early struggles with " the 
world, the flesh, and the devil." Much practical defence 
against temptation might be found in such recollections of 
the book of Proverbs ; and much abiding comfort, as well 
as material for devotion, in the book of Psalms. The 
advantage of thus knowing Holy Scripture by heart is 
fully acknowledged when the necessity to which it is ap 
plicable arrives, how was it thus acknowledged by many 
a poor fellow as he lay wounded and dying in the Crimea ! 
Let us anticipate that necessity by a return to the good 
old practice, devoting several hours of the elder school- 
children s time weekly to the storing up of suitable texts 
and chapters in their memories. 

7. Finally, let the practical duties of the Christian life 
be made the frequent end of Scripture teaching ; and 
above all, the duty of private prayer, in respect to the 
use of which by the children particular inquiry should be 
made, and plain instructions given. 



SCHOOLS. 289 

I will not attempt to lay down any rule as to the 
frequency of the clergyman s visits to the school for the 
purpose of taking part in the religious instruction. In 
some parishes he will be ahle to give the school a more 
prominent place in his daily plans than is possible in 
others ; and in some instances more than in others, he 
will be able to place great reliance upon the schoolmaster 
for carrying out his system efficiently. An hour on one 
day of the week seems to be the minimum time which he 
should allow for this object, and an hour every school-day 
the maximum. More time than the latter need very rarely 
be given, since the clergyman is not to take the place of 
the teacher in the school, but to supplement his work. 
Important as pastoral labours in the school may be, they 
are not the only pastoral labours that are so : and my 
observation leads me to doubt whether school or clergy 
man are improved by his too frequent presence there J . 
After all, his great purpose in going to the school to take 
part in the instruction of the children is to ensure that 
they shall not only know about religion, but that as far as 
his endeavours can bring about such a result, they shall 
be practically religious also. 



But the pastor s influence is to be exercised 
in the school not only in the matter of direct Formation 
religious instruction. The formation of good character, 
habits will depend not a little on his super- 

2 Great caution should be used as to lowering the schoolmaster s position 
in the eyes of the children. 

U 



290 SCHOOLS. 

vision of the school, which supervision will require in him 
a tolerably exact acquaintance with its routine in general, 
and with the continuous course of its daily management. 
Wise politicians set a high value upon the clergy of the 
Church of England, as the most effective national police 
that exists, but for whom crime would extend enormously. 
Not less is their influence felt in the development of 
national character, where they make the most use of the 
circumstances and means within their reach. It has been 
truly said, that if the clergy withdrew their support from 
the poor schools of the country, two-thirds of them would 
collapse within the following three months. Equally true 
is it, that upon the influence which they there exercise 
depends, in a great measure, the social character of the 
next generation of that class who are trained there. 
Trifling points of discipline, which are in themselves of 
the very smallest consequence, are of importance in their 
effect upon the formation of character ; and the seeds of 
future character are sown so early in life, that the future 
of the adult depends largely upon the school days of the 
child the tree growing as the twig is bent. School 
masters and mistresses are apt to be short-sighted and 
forgetful as to these apparently trifling points of disci 
pline, and often require to be reminded of their moral 
importance by the clergyman. 

What I refer to may be classed generally under the 
heads of Christian courtesy and gentleness, the two quali 
ties which are essential to true manliness or true woman 
liness of character. There need be no interference with 
the independent feeling of the poor ; and yet they may be 



SCHOOLS. 291 

trained in early life to that highest form of self-respect 
which consists in a recognition of their own true position 
in relation to others. But the present generation is 
universally acknowledged to be deficient in this particular ; 
young men and young women of the lower classes assuming 
a vulgar independence very different from the true manly 
or womanly tone I have spoken of. An illustration of this 
is readily at hand in the passing salutation given by 
persons of the labouring class to their clergyman. Old 
men, (operatives, pitmen, or agricultural labourers,) may 
often be found who raise their hats with the air of nature s 
gentlemen 3 ; but the younger men, who have passed 
through our schools during the last twenty years, know 
hardly any mode of salutation but the short sidelong 
gesture which I have sometimes heard characterized as 
" the Dissenting nod." There is a moral in this difference. 
It is not that the former are more deficient in independent 
feeling than the latter, but it is that they instinctively, 
or by education, recognize the interdependent relation of 
classes ; while the newer form of salutation is much mixed 
up with a kind of " I-am-as-good-as-you" feeling, which 
is certainly not true in that sense in which it is entertained. 
This tendency to swagger has, therefore, a sufficient moral 
importance to be worthy of the clergyman s attention in 
supervising the morale of his school. Some discipline 
shoiild be established analogous to that observed on board 

3 Is it necessary for me to suggest that the respectful salutations of the 
poor should be always cordially acknowledged ? Even the " bob " of the 
little four year old maiden should have its cheerful " Good child " by way of 
response. 

F 2 



292 SCHOOLS. 

Queen s ships by juniors towards seniors, and by the men 
towards the officers. A quasi- military salute should be 
required from the boys, and a gentle curtsey from the 
girls on meeting the clergyman or the teacher in the 
street as well as in the school. Habits of courteous " Good 
morning " should be taught 4 , of standing at the entrance 
of visitors into the school, of " Thank you," and " If you 
please," and so forth ; all trifles in themselves, but all 
affecting the future social tone of the class trained in 
them. And such training is becoming all the more 
necessary as the demands for youthful labour increase in 
mining, manufacturing, lace, and straw-plait districts, 
where the early earning of wages by children places them 
in an unnatural position of self-support which requires 
every help to make it safe to themselves, or otherwise 
than disagreeable to others. 



It is very desirable to gain the co-operation of the 
parents of the children and of other persons in the work 
of education. A little thoughtfulness on the part of the 
clergyman will lead him to suggest and encourage a few 
words about their children s schooling when he is visiting 
the parents ; and an occasional visit to the school might be 
permitted, under strict regulations as to silence and non 
interference. Among the many plans suggested for ob 
taining the co-operation of parents in securing regular 

4 There are parts of the country where this salutation is absolutely for 
gotten by the people, so that they do not understand it when used by 
strangers. The substitute is a grim " Fine day," an expression of opinion 
instead of one of good will. 



SCHOOLS. 



293 



attendance, I know of none that work better in practice 
than a simple attendance card like that annexed, which is 
soon understood, and which offers a tangible bonus on 
regularity, in the shape of clothing club or savings bank, 
or some other form of benefits at the end of the year. 



This Card is to show the Parents how many days in each 
week their child attends School. 

The Child is to bring the Card to the School every Monday 
morning. It must be kept clean. 

The Clothing Club rewards will be distributed to the Parents 
of those children who come to School most regularly. 



o 
o 



o 

I I 

1 



Fifty of them may be filled up in ten minutes by the 
teacher with the help of a junior pupil-teacher or first- 



294 SCHOOLS. 

class scholar ; and they should be filled up and returned 
with punctuality in the afternoon of every Monday. 

School treats should also be made a means of interesting 
the parents as well as the children, but some detailed hints 
on this subject will be found in a later page. An occa 
sional note from the schoolmaster or mistress in the case of 
continued irregularity is often useful, and still more a 
personal remonstrance ; but the plan of removing the 
child s name from the school-books after a certain number 
of absences is one that can hardly be recommended until 
there is greater sensitiveness to such a punishment on the 
part of parents and children than there is at present. 

But much dependence may be placed upon the quality 
of the school for success in securing regular attendance and 
general co-operation on the part of parents : and if the 
school is really good, the fact should be made known pretty 
freely that it may not be undervalued by the parents. A 
little innocent self-assertion on the part of a school makes 
it to be better estimated, better known, and more popular. 

. Infant Schools. 

The necessity for compressing into as small a space of 
time as possible the substantial education of poor children 
has led to a recognition of infant schools as an useful, and 
almost essential part, under existing circumstances, of our 
educational system. The ordinary law of God s Provi 
dence undoubtedly lays upon parents the responsibility of 
bringing up children of tender years under their own eye ; 
and to go against this law by transferring them to the 
charge of a stranger is a dangerous approximation to the 



SCHOOLS. 295 

vicious principle of doing evil that good may come. But 
there are so many artificial circumstances about the social 
condition of a pushing and highly civilized age, that a 
real justification may be found in practice for what is 
objectionable according to a strict logical morality. Such 
justification for infant schools, i. e. for taking infants 
away from maternal care during about half the day, may 
be found in the following facts, which I put down at length 
as it may be convenient to some clergymen to satisfy 
themselves and others on what grounds they break up the 
domestic life of the poor to an extent which they would 
not certainly dare to do in the case of their own families. 

1. There is the melancholy but notorious fact that as 
soon as infants are able to crawl about by themselves they 
are too often neglected by their mothers ; left in the charge 
of children scarcely older than themselves, or sent to 
nurseries of a character very unsuitable to the wholesome 
development of their childhood. 

2. The mothers are frequently over-burdened with young 
children and with domestic work, and need assistance in 
some form, as much as other mothers who get it in the 
shape of nurses and domestic servants. 

3. Women of the labouring classes go out to work more 
and more every year. It is much to be regretted that 
they should do so, and sometimes it is quite true that 
wives earn money only that husbands may be able to spend 
more at the public-house. But the means which formerly 
existed of contributing to the support of a family, such as 
a woman might engage in at home, and yet attend to her 



296 SCHOOLS. 

children, are not now to be found; homespun garments 
are no longer known, and where the wife used to make 
the material with which her family was clothed she must 
now go to the factory or the field to earn money with 
which she may buy it at the shop. The necessity for 
adding to the weekly earnings of the family is considered 
to be much more pressing than the duty of attending to 
her infant children : and, however much we may deplore 
a mistaken course, we must not let the poor children go 
wrong in consequence, if we can prevent the evil. 

4. And, lastly, the early age at which boys and girls 
are sent to work in some districts, makes it desirable to 
get over the rudimentary part of their education as early 
as possible, so as to make the most of the few years they 
spend in the national school. If a child can be taught to 
read in an infant school before six years of age, at least a 
year is gained by the master of the upper school for bring 
ing it forward in secular and religious knowledge. 

The real use of infant schools is, in fact, to take very 
young children away from evil influences if such exist in 
their homes, to train them to those habits of obedience 
and application which are necessary in the higher school, 
and to teach those elementary beginnings of religious and 
secular knowledge which can hardly be taught in a school 
where children are learning at a much more advanced age. 
Much of the teaching must necessarily be oral, especially 
the religious teaching ; and it will require such patience, 
and such perseverance in elementary routine as can only 
be found in the feminine mind. Any one who has had to 



SCHOOLS. 297 

do with children of four to six years of age knows the 
value of pictures as a means of arresting their attention, 
and fixing their interest in any thing that is being told 
them. Coloured pictures therefore should be made use of 
as the Bible itself is used in the religious instruction of 
children who can read 5 . And as young children learn 
easiest that which is broken up by versification and the 
"jingle " of rhyme, hymns should be used very freely as a 
means of storing their little minds with good words and 
devotional ideas; never omitting to give them an intel 
ligent familiarity with that prayer of their Lord whose 
comprehensive simplicity fits it for every period of life 
from infancy to old age. 

Very few clergymen will be able to do any thing in an 
infant school which the mistress cannot do as well or 
better. Encouraging and kindly words, and a general 
supervision and control are almost all that will be required 
of him. But if he is fortunate enough to possess such a 
treasure as a good clergyman s wife, sister, or mother, 
the visits of that lady to the infant school will be very 
valuable, and to her he may delegate that portion of his 
pastoral responsibilities with great advantage to the little 
ones, and probably to the great relief of himself from an 
embarrassing and puzzling duty. For a clergyman may 
have the eloquence of a Chrysostom combined with the zeal 
of a Gregory, and yet find himself utterly helpless in front 

5 The life of our Lord, or other simple Scripture subjects painted in 
divisions upon the upper half of school walls form a beautiful and useful 
decoration. The skill of amateur artists might often be enlisted for such 
work with great advantage to the little ones of Christ s flock. 



298 SCHOOLS. 

of fifty infants between three and six years of age, espe 
cially if the dialect of the district is peculiar. 

. Evening Schools. 

The necessities of juvenile labour have led us to sup 
plement our ordinary schools by the infant school, in the 
hope of extending the period during which children 
are under good training, by carrying it backward a year 
or two towards infancy ; and the same reason has led to the 
origination of night, or evening schools, in the hope of 
extending it another year or two towards the adult period 
of life, after working days have begun. Evening schools 
are also much sought after by those who are desirous 
of gaining some of the advantages of education in mature 
life which they have missed acquiring in youth. They 
are an object of consideration to the pastor for several 
reasons. They bring together for some useful occupation 
those who would otherwise be loitering idly about, or 
perhaps wrongly employed ; they promote a taste for 
spending the evenings in a more sensible manner than 
is the received custom with working men ; and they bring 
under his eye and influence many who would probably 
otherwise be strangers to him. The class of young men, 
(or young women, evening schools being often useful 
for both,) who come within the sphere of this kind of 
school will vary much, according to the locality in which 
it is established. If good schools have been at work 
for twenty or thirty years in a small parish, there will 
be few young persons who cannot read and write and 
cipher ; while, on the other hand, amidst a large and 



SCHOOLS. 299 

unmanageable population, there will always be numbers 
who have been to school only (if at all) in their earliest 
childhood, and have to get over the work of elementary 
education after reaching the adult period of life. 

Supposing, then, that by means of other parochial 
machinery, a number of persons of various ages have 
been persuaded to attend an evening school, the first thing 
to do with them is to separate them into several classes 
according to their attainments, and with reference to the 
particular object each class has in view. Men of mature 
years, who have to acquire the very elements of education, 
ought to be formed into a class by themselves, as there 
will be a natural aversion on their part to be placed be 
side lads who have had greater advantages, and are, 
perhaps, fresh from the schoolmaster s hand. Some, 
again, can read and write well, and are well up in the 
school arithmetic, but wish to go on further, and acquire 
some knowledge of mathematics, and there may be no 
other machinery for gratifying this laudable desire than 
that which is used for teaching the elementary class. 
It is manifest, therefore, that a considerable amount of 
judgment is required in so arranging a mixed body of 
persons of the kind indicated, that each may be pro 
fiting by the teaching of the evening school, and neither 
hindering, nor being hindered by, his neighbours. 

If the clergyman is single-handed in a parish which 
requires much visiting, it may be inexpedient for him 
(however willing to spend and be spent) to break up 
his time for study and other essential duties by personal 
superintendence of an evening school. Sometimes the 



300 SCHOOLS. 

schoolmaster is able to take the hard work off his hands, 
but if there are pupil- teach era to be taught at six A.M., 
and the wear and tear of a large day school to be en 
dured, he cannot do so with justice to his more legitimate 
duties, or to himself and his domestic life. Where there 
are several clergy, or an assistant schoolmaster, it may be 
more easily managed. But evening schools offer a field 
for the co-operation of educated laymen in the work of 
the Church; and to many, a few hours of the week so 
employed, on two or more evenings, would prove far 
from an unprofitable mode of spending their time and 
their energies. 

Looking at such auxiliaries of the ordinary educational 
system of the parish from a pastoral rather than a strictly 
educational point of view, their value must be considered 
to consist in the opportunity for intercourse with an in 
accessible class of his parishioners which they offer to the 
clergyman ; and I do not know any way in which this 
intercourse may be turned to better account than by a 
short, clear lecture or reading, of about a quarter of an 
hour, on some subject connected with religion, but not of 
the kind which would incur the charge of " preaching ; " 
a charge that would soon break up the school. Speciali 
ties of the Bible, such as its geography, natural history, 
the connexion of Scripture with profane history, an ac 
count of what may be called its literary history, these 
and a multitude of such subjects offer themselves, not 
forgetting Church history, Ancient and Modern, which 
may be taken in hand by the clergyman, or by a well- 
educated layman under the clergyman s sanction, with 



SCHOOLS. 301 

great profit to the attendants at evening schools; and 
with the many modern books which are accessible to the 
educated classes, there ought to be no difficulty in " get 
ting up " the information necessary, or in rendering it to 
the uneducated in an intelligible and interesting form. 
But this is really so important an object, that it is worth 
some expenditure of labour ; when the result will be more 
lasting and more useful, perhaps, than any other line of 
education followed out in the schools of which I have 
been speaking. Kitto s Cyclopaedia, or Smith s Dictionary 
of the Bible, would suggest the substance of many such 
lectures, and it need hardly be said that neither clergy 
man nor layman need feel shame at any want of originality 
as to materials. 

. Sunday Schools. 

In feeling our way to the adaptation of the Sunday- 
school system to the system of the Church of England, so 
much has been said and written that the subject of Sunday 
schools has seemed to be one of a much less simple cha 
racter, in respect both to theory and practical manage 
ment, than it really is. The latter must necessarily vary 
a good deal according to the nature of the parish and the 
means of teaching at the clergyman s disposal on Sunday ; 
but as to the former, it may be said, in a few words, that 
the system of Sunday schools is one available for the two 
objects of giving religious instruction to those children 
who do not attend the day school, and of securing the 
attendance of all at Divine service. When the system 
was first originated, it was the practice to introduce secular 



302 SCHOOLS. 

instruction, but probably this practice never gained any 
way in Church schools ; and certainly such instruction has 
so much of the character of week-day labour as to be 
thoroughly unfit for the day of rest. 

The Sunday school is, to a certain extent, a substitute 
for, or an adaptation of, the venerable catechetical system 
of the Church ; and the lay teachers, who have by universal 
consent been introduced as an almost essential part of the 
Sunday school, may fairly be regarded as a modern version 
of the ancient order of Catechist. "When the clergyman 
takes any part in the school, he seldom exercises any direct 
pastoral functions, but places himself on a level with the 
teachers or catechists by taking one of the classes himself ; 
and it seems to be generally considered that it is a better 
arrangement to have a lay superintendent appointed by the 
clergyman, than for the latter to act as such himself. The 
pastor s ultimate authority over the school is fully acknow 
ledged, but the practical working of it is looked upon as a 
fair field for the work of laymen and laywomen in co 
operating with him towards the religious training of the 
young. This being so, the two objects to which the 
pastor s attention should be directed for the purpose of 
securing reality and soundness in such co-operation are 
the obtaining of good teachers, and the uniform adoption 
of such a mode of teaching as will work in with his own. 

Sunday-school teachers should be selected, if possible, 
from among the communicants, and not from the uncon 
firmed young people, whose position is more properly that 
of scholars. It is true that young people of fifteen or 
sixteen years of age may be persuaded to come regularly 



SCHOOLS. 303 

to church by giving them classes in the Sunday school ; 
and for a similar reason Dissenting Sunday schools are 
often provided with nearly as many teachers as scholars. 
But if solidity is sought, and not mere showiness, a good 
solid kind of teacher must be provided, who has some 
experience of religion, and is above being made vain by 
the little brief authority annexed to the office. If too 
young, the tendency of a Sunday-school teacher s work is 
to deteriorate rather than to elevate their Christian life ; 
to make them vain, self-reliant, and opinionative. But if 
the work is religiously undertaken at a later and more 
settled period of life, it may be of almost as much value to 
the teacher as to the taught. Having secured such 
teachers, and appointed one of them as superintendent, 
who will be accounted generally responsible for the 
management of the school, the clergyman must point out 
to them the desirableness of establishing a mutual interest 
between themselves and the scholars of their respective 
classes, and lead them to feel some responsibility in respect 
to their regular attendance at school and church. A kind 
of discipline is thus established, and on a sound, Christian 
foundation, which will probably do more than all forced 
and artificial arrangements of rewards to secure good 
Sunday habits on the part of the children. 

The system of instruction pursued in the Sunday school 
must necessarily be of the same character as the religious 
instruction of a day school, the principal difference being 
that there are more teachers to put it in practice. If the 
scholars are principally those who come to school daily, it 
is better to found the teaching on the Collect, Gospel, and 



304 SCHOOLS. 

Epistle of the week. If they are mostly children who 
have had little religious instruction, the teaching should 
be pointed more towards a methodical instruction in the 
life of our Lord and the principles of the faith. Whatever 
the nature of the teaching, it should be on a plan laid 
down by the clergyman ; and he will either " teach his 
teachers" by means of occasional meetings at the par 
sonage, or will put into their hands some notes of lessons, 
such as those issued by the National Society in their 
Sunday-school papers. 

"Where the hour of Divine service in the morning is 
early, (and our eleven o clock morning prayer is surely too 
late,) it may sometimes be desirable to have the more 
important meeting of the Sunday school at a later time of 
the day, using the half-hour or so before church-time in 
the morning as a means of assembling the children, and 
bringing them, into a quiet and reverent condition for 
joining in Divine service. 



. School Prayers. 

BEFORE MORNING SCHOOL. 

Lord, have mercy upon us. 
Christ, have mercy upon us. 
Lord, have mercy upon us. 

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy 
Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, 
As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. 



SCHOOLS. 305 

And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that 
trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; 
But deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, 
The power and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen. 

Lord, open Thou our lips. 

And our mouth shall show forth Thy praise. 
God, make speed to save us. 
Lord, make haste to help us. 

Psalm xix. 

The Apostles Creed. 

The Suffrages. 

The Collect for the Day. 

The third Collect, for Grace. 

Prevent us, Lord, in all our doings with Thy most 
gracious favour, and further us with Thy continual help ; 
that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in Thee, 
we may glorify Thy holy Name, and finally by Thy mercy 
obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen. 



AFTER MORNING SCHOOL. 

" Lord and Father, bless, we pray, 
And guard Thy children day by day ; 
Keep us for ever in Thy fear, 
And make us feel that Thou art near. 



306 SCHOOLS. 



" At home, abroad ; at play, at school, 
Let love our hasty tempers rule ; 
Keep hand and tongue from evil free, 
Check d by Thy grace and thought of Thee." 



BEFORE AFTERNOON SCHOOL. 

" Lord, to us Thy grace impart, 
With lowly mind and cheerful heart, 
To learn our daily task, and try 
Thy name in all to glorify. 

" Father, make Thy children know, 
Tis Thou from whom all blessings flow ; 
To Thee our grateful voice we raise, 
Thee we adore, and love, and praise." 



AFTER AFTERNOON SCHOOL. 

As in the morning, until the Psalm, when Psalm 103 is 
to be used. 

The Apostles Creed. 

The Suffrages. 

The Collect for the Day. 

The second Collect at Evening Prayer. 

The third Collect, for Aid against all Perils. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of 
God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all 
evermore. 



CHAPTER X. 

PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

A PASTORAL system in which no room existed for the action 
of lay members of the Church as supplementary, or com 
plementary, to the action of the clergy, would be incon 
sistent with the principle of unity which runs through 
every part of the system of Christianity, and would also 
be unsuited to the necessities of at least the present gene 
ration. The doctrine of the Communion of Saints excludes 
the right of any one to say, "Am I my brother s keeper ?" 
and imposes upon all the duty of exercising an active 
fellowship with Christ s brethren in works as well as in 
feelings of Christian charity towards them. Nor is it in 
this alone that we find a law of lay co-operation. As the 
foundation of pastoral work on the part of the clergy is 
their priesthood, so an analogous foundation is laid in that 
"royal priesthood" whereof all are partakers who are 
called out of darkness into God s marvellous light ; and on 
this foundation is built the true theory of all lay Church 
work, whether in the worship of God s house, or in works 
of love among His children. 

It must be confessed that the laity of the Church of 
x 2 



308 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

England have not been encouraged to exercise the privi 
leges and duties of this " royal priesthood " to the extent 
that they ought to exercise them ; and that the result has 
been so sharply denned a separation of them from pastoral 
work as a participation with the clergy in the labours of 
the Good Shepherd, that necessity has sometimes arisen 
even for showing that the clergy alone do not constitute 
the Church, but the whole body of Christian people. 
Complaints have been frequently heard that there is very 
little occupation given to our laity in the management of 
Church matters by their parochial clergy, although those 
clergy are often overburdened with work; and that in 
consequence there is little of that esprit de corps among the 
former which is so conspicuous in the case of Dissenters ; 
little of that higher unity which has its origin in the bond 
created by common personal participation in works of 
charity. 

There are, in reality, many laymen actually engaged in 
official duties connected with Church work, as, for example, 
some thirty thousand churchwardens, and probably about 
the same number of schoolmasters and pupil-teachers of 
various ages, but these form a very small proportion in 
comparison with the vast numbers of the laity ; and few 
others contribute any thing towards the work of the Church 
except in the form of subscription to funds which are 
administered, for the most part, by the clergy. And it is 
rather sad to observe that the more notable lay workers in 
times gone by have been men and women like Howard 
and Mrs. Fry, out of communion with the Church, or like 
Hannah More and Wilberforce, working independently of 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 309 

the Church, though belonging to its communion. In the 
present day there is a strong desire on the part of the 
laity to take their proper share in the good works which 
are being carried on by the Church of England. The 
revived diligence of the clergy has led to a corresponding 
revival on the part of their lay brethren, and the question 
which presents itself to the pastor now is often rather how 
he shall employ willing hearts and hands than where he 
shall find them l . 

The administration of what may be called 
the secular phase of pastoral work is clearly a 



kind of business that might very well be put Churcn - 

wardens. 

into the hands of his lay parishioners by the 

1 These words were hardly written when the following passage appeared 
in a " Times " leader on the subject of Church Extension : " There are on 
all sides men who want to assist the Church by their personal services, and 
still more to see their sons and daughters employed, as all good books tell 
us they ought to employ part of their time, in visiting the sick and dis 
tressed and teaching the ignorant. The hearts of tens of thousands of 
parents will respond to these words. What would they give to see their 
young people employed in good works, instead of doing any thing to pass 
the time and get up a faint interest ? But good works, whether in the 
Bible, or the Papist, or the Puritan, or the old Church-of- England sense, 
are daily more impossible, and practically all but forbidden. And what is 
the substitute ? The incessant collector, with his card of charities, his ink- 
bottle, his steel pen, and his receipt book, demanding money to be paid to 
institutions and hirelings to do the things which Christians ought to do 
themselves, ought to be allowed to do, ought to be invited to do." Times, 
May 5, 1863. 

It is alleged that the clergy are often jealous of any co-operation on the 
part of the laity in work for which the latter are competent, and that 
there is an extravagant dread of interference. Such feelings, perhaps, have 
their foundation in a just apprehension of clanger from the introduction of 
an untried system. But the advantages to be gained are greater than the 
danger incurred. 



310 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

clergyman with advantage to himself and them. The 
intention of the Church system, with respect to this, may 
be seen in the office of churchwarden, and it will be well 
if the clergyman who desires to organize a system of lay 
co-operation in his parish can begin by securing persons 
to fill that office who will learn, and act upon, the theory 
of the Church respecting it. The laymen appointed to 
this office are the custodes of the fabric of the parish 
church, and of all that it contains. To quote what I 
have said elsewhere : " It is the duty of the clergyman to 
offer Divine worship to God on behalf of the parishioners : 
it is the duty of the churchwarden to provide and take 
care of whatever is necessary and proper for that worship. 
And as both of these are rendering their services for the 
benefit of the parishioners at large, it is the duty of the 
latter to provide such means as may enable them to carry 
out the intention of the Church s system. 

" In time of Divine service, the whole responsibility of 
keeping order among the congregation legally devolves 
upon the churchwardens : and they have power to turn 
any one out of the church, whether parishioner or not, 
who is disturbing the service, or grossly misbehaving 
himself. 

" When the clergyman of the parish dies, it is the church 
wardens who are responsible for securing that the vacancy 
is temporarily supplied, until the bishop or the patron 
steps in and provides for it permanently. 

" And how far they are theoretically intended to take 

5 Oxford Parochial Magazine, April, 1861. 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 311 

part in the care of the poor, is shown by their ex officio 
position as overseers, and by their obligation to assist the 
clergyman in the distribution of alms 3 . 

"But, perhaps, the real Church importance of these 
Church officers is shown as much in the power given to 
them of presenting to the bishop the clergyman, or any 
one else, when they suppose them to be transgressing the 
laws of morality and the Church. This is a power which 
might lead to very important results if it was to be con 
scientiously exercised by all the churchwardens of the 
land ; and although a sudden resuscitation of this dormant 
power is certainly not to be desired, yet there is plainly an 
element of much good in the faithful answering of the 
papers of inquiry annually sent to the churchwarden ; 
which contain such questions as the following : 

" 1. Is your minister of sober life and conversation ? 

"2. Does he use such decency and distinction of habit 
as becomes his sacred profession ? 

3 It is worth calling attention, in a note, to the distributions of Parochial 
Bequests by the minister and churchwardens. Many of these bequests 
have been intended by the testators to be useful in promoting the spiritual 
work of the parish ; e. g. one which I remember, dating from the Re 
formation, of an annual sum of money to those poor men and women who 
should most regularly attend the daily service of their parish church ; and 
many of bread and money to those who shall be most constant at Divine 
service on Sunday. Such funds have been known to be distributed among 
those who never made their appearance in church, except on St. Thomas s 
day, or whatever the time might be for receiving the charity. This is un 
just to the testator, unjust to the Church poor, and is defrauding the Church 
of a means by which a few old people might be drawn within the sound of 
her teaching, and perhaps drawn from a low ground of frequenting Church 
to a much higher one. If some who come to scoff stay to pray, it may be 
that some who come to get alms may stay to get grace. 



312 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

" 3. At what hours does he celebrate Divine service iii 
your parish church ? 

" 4. Does he read Divine service, properly habited, re 
verently, distinctly, and audibly, as prescribed by the 
Book of Common Prayer, without additions, diminutions, 
or alterations ? 

"5. Is the Sacrament of Baptism administered in your 
Church (except in cases of necessity) and during the time 
of Divine service ? 

"6. Are those who are privately baptized, afterwards 
publicly received into the Church ? 

" 7. How often is the Sacrament of the Lord s Supper 
administered ? 

" 8. What is the average number of communicants, as 
far as you can judge ? 

" 9. How often does your minister preach ? 

" 10. Does he publicly instruct and examine the chil 
dren in the Church Catechism; where, and at what 
times ? 

"11. Does he duly prepare the children for Confir 
mation ? 

" 12. Does he visit the sick regularly and diligently ?" 

A large amount of benefit might result to the Church, 
and many scandals might be prevented or cured, if those 
of whom these inquiries are made would fearlessly and 
honestly give real answers to them, such as would put the 
bishop and his officers in possession of sound information 
given by responsible persons. I happen to know a case 
at a recent Visitation, in which such a return imme 
diately attracted the attention of the bishop s deputy, and 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPEEATION. 313 

he expressed his strong approval of it. And it cannot be 
doubted, that if these important representatives of the 
laity were to act up to the theory of their office in a 
practical manner, the whole Church would derive benefit 
from their so doing. Let the thirty thousand church 
wardens co-operate with the twenty-eight bishops, and 
the twenty thousand clergy, and a long step will be made 
towards attaining the lay co-operation of which I am 
speaking. 

And, endeavouring to develope among the 

. . . Laymen s 

laity of his parish in general that interest in work in 
the practical work of their Church which is ft^Tfoif 

imposed, so to speak, on the churchwarden, a P ar chial 

* purposes. 

large field might be pointed out in busy 
parishes where their operations would relieve the pastor 
from much anxiety, responsibility, and toil. A clever 
paper on the subject was read by Mr. Pearson (a member 
of the bar) and afterwards published, in connexion with 
the "Clerical and Lay Union," a London Society ori 
ginated, in 1856, for the purpose of effecting some of the 
objects I am advocating, in which it was vividly pointed 
out how much of the modern clergyman s time and 
energy is taken up with "begging" for Church pur 
poses. 

"One of the greatest evils of society in the present 
day is begging; and the greatest of all beggars is the 
parish clergyman. He is a mendicant virtute officii: a 
constant, needy, importunate mendicant. He begs at all 
times, and in a variety of ways, and for all kinds of 
objects. Now by a sermon from the pulpit; now by a 



314 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

private letter ; then by a circular, followed by a meeting, 
or perhaps a bazaar, or perhaps the publication of a volume 
of sermons. You light upon him in the street, and he 
accosts you, and tells you he was on his way to your house 
with the subscription list to the new school, in the cer 
tainty that you would add your name. You meet him 
at dinner, and he tells you that he has just learned that 
the poor fund is exhausted, and has a letter from the 
treasurer in his pocket, which he begs you to read. 
Churches, Schools, Reading-rooms, Infirmaries, Clothing- 
clubs, Savings Banks, Missionary Societies, all are under 
his patronage, all are supported by his persevering soli 
citations. He must find out what his parish requires ; 
consider how the deficiencies ought to be supplied ; obtain 
plans ; reject this one because it is unsuitable, and that 
one because it is too costly ; furnish a statement of the 
expense of supplying a need which ought never to have 
existed, and arguments to excuse himself for doing that 
which not one who has been resident in the parish has 
thought of attempting ; and lastly, he must beg from 
street to street, from house to house, from rich and poor, 
from strangers in the neighbourhood, from relatives and 
friends at a distance, in order that something may be 
done which every body in the parish admits ought to be 
done, and to be done by themselves V 

No doubt much of the labour here indicated might be 
undertaken by laymen ; and if undertaken by them under 
the leadership of the clergyman, there is no reason why 

4 The Duty of Laymen in the Church of England. London : Bell and 
Daldy. 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 315 

the works to be effected should not be done at least as well, 
as when he alone is responsible for their details as well as 
for their general origination. The notion that this kind 
of labour is part of the burden properly belonging to the 
clerical office is a great mistake, but one which we may 
hope to see corrected in the minds of many, as we attain 
to a better appreciation of the position occupied by the 
Church of England in the midst of a thickening popu 
lation, and a busy age. , 

And, as laymen might thus effectually 
strengthen the hands of their clergy by work- ^yjnen s 
ing the machinery which gathers the funds for managing 

. . . T . and dis- 

their many parochial necessities, so I conceive tributing 
they should be employed far more than they c 



are in the distribution of those funds. The 
management of benefit societies, parochial savings banks, 
Church funds of various kinds, and of school accounts, 
might fairly be taken in hand by men of business, and it 
is very likely that their management might establish a 
personal interest in them which would lead to a far greater 
development of financial resources than these and kindred 
institutions would reach in the hands of the clergy, who 
mostly have to provide a balance out of tfceir own pockets 
to keep things square. In such work it is possible that 
the clergyman may so interest some of his parishioners, 
that he can lead them on to a still higher appreciation 
of the duty under which they lie to help him in the 
many works of charity in which he is engaged, and to 
a development of their true position as Christian laymen. 



316 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

Very useful towards such an end will it be to 
and espe- .,,.... 

dally alms engage laymen m the distribution of alms to the 

to the poor. poor i n the offering of their alms to God they 
exercise their love to Him ; in their distribution of them 
they would be exercising their love to man, and making 
the work of charity a twofold blessing to themselves 5 . 
The occasional sight that they would thus gain of scenes 
familiar enough to the clergy and the medical man, but 
little known to the laity at large, would in itself arouse 
feelings of sympathy with the poor, which few of them 
are likely to have opportunities for attaining unless pro 
vided for them in some such manner. In such cases, we 
should carefully avoid running into the error of making 
the lay visitor a substitute for the clergyman in his 
clerical capacity. The distribution of alms might, indeed, 
often pave the way for the clergyman, by kind consoling 
words and personal services which teach the afflicted to 
love the Church and welcome its ministers ; but it should 
be a rule that no word should ever be spoken intention 
ally, or carelessly, and no deed ever done, which should 
mislead the poor in this particular. 



5 I have said nothing about the offertory as a means of increasing the 
funds available for Church purposes, because I do not feel so confident of 
its permanent value for that purpose as some of its advocates do. \\1iere it 
is so successful, however, as to provide more than a mere dole for the poor, 
it is very desirable that some of the laity should be associated with the 
clergyman in dispensing it, that the accounts should be audited by them, 
and a statement of the manner in which it has been applied published 
annually. Whatever respect the laity may feel for the clergy, only exact 
and open accounts of money will give thorough confidence. 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 317 

Not indeed that this lay visitation of the 
poor need be entirely confined to the distri- Unpaid 
bution of alms. Paid Scripture Readers have Readers 
been so extensively introduced as to prove that 
they have been found useful in assisting the parochial 
clergy. There seems to be a still higher advantage before 
us, if we can avail ourselves of it, in the gratuitous services 
of a higher class of laymen than Scripture Readers are 
taken from, who should carry their educational advantages 
among the poor as the clergy do, and draw the uneducated 
to an intelligent apprehension of the Scriptures read. 
Well-informed Churchmen might thus, under the guidance 
of the clergyman, help much to counteract the poison of 
unbelief and scepticism which is spreading so fearfully in 
large towns, doing by word of mouth what we endeavour 
to do, but with such imperfect success, by the circulation 
of tracts. It would not be so easy for the layman to 
obtain access to many of the class of people aimed at as 
for the clergyman, who is received at the worst with a 
sullen silence ; but educated men of a high standing in 
social life have often a happy tact in dealing with the 
lower classes ; and they would have this advantage over 
the clergyman, that they could more freely use the secular 
circumstances of life as a lever for wrenching open the 
unwilling door for the admission of Christian subjects of 
conversation. 

For such work, it is of course necessary that the clergy 
man should seek the help only of those who can be 
thoroughly depended on for pious intentions, intelligent 
knowledge of the principles of religion, and good judg- 



318 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

ment as well as zeal. They should also have a clear 
understanding of the extent to which a layman may go 
in taking such a share in pastoral work, and of the limits 
beyond which he ought not to go. The first five rules 
which are laid down for the guidance and restraint of 
Scripture Headers by the Society which employs them are 
an example of the kind of regulations to which the more 
highly educated lay visitor should also submit himself; 
and perhaps it should be added to them, that he should 
use prayer but seldom in his visits, rather pointing out to 
the clergyman the cases in which he considers it to be 
needed, than offering it himself. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SCRIPTURE READERS. 

" 1. You are to visit in your district from house to house, 
for the purpose of reading the Scriptures to the poor, 
accompanying such reading with plain remarks, pointing 
their attention to the Saviour of whom they testify. 

"2. Remember that your principal object must be, to 
call attention to the Scriptures, strongly urging, upon their 
authority, the sin of neglecting them, setting them forth 
as the only infallible rule of faith and practice, as able to 
make men wise unto salvation, through faith which is in 
Christ Jesus. 

" 3. You are strictly prohibited from carrying about 
with you, for the purpose of reading to the people, or of 
distributing among them, any book or publication but the 
Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and the Book 
of Common Prayer; taking care to avoid, as much as 
possible, all controversy. 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 319 

" 4. You are strictly prohibited from PREACHING, either 
in houses or elsewhere. 

"5. Urge upon all persons you visit, the duty of attend 
ing the public worship of God in the church ; inculcate 
upon parents the duty of training up their children in the 
way they should go, and of procuring for them week-day 
and Sunday-school instruction. In any particular case 
which seems to call for the visit of the parochial clergy 
man, report it forthwith to him." 

In addition to that already indicated, a variety of other 
work would present itself to the attention of the clergy 
and laity as adapted for the latter, if the consideration, 
What shall laymen do ? has actually arisen as a practical 
question. There is the church choir, for example, to be 
kept up, the evening school to be taught, work to be done 
in looking after lads that have left school for the mill or 
the field, and influence to be exercised for good among 
adult working men. 

There are few parishes in which a larger 
number of men might not be interested than at Church 

singing. 

present in church singing, and in choral societies 
which look ultimately towards its maintenance and im 
provement. The taste for good singing has developed so 
much since Mr. Hullah began to make singing classes 
popular, that there is now no excuse for the absence of it 
in the service of God. Choral services have also been 
made very popular, and have lost the distinctively party 
character which was unfortunately supposed to belong to 
them when they began to be used in parish churches . 

6 Mercer s " Musically-noted Prayer Book and Psalter " has helped much 
towards this desirable end. 



320 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 



To whatever extent singing may be adopted in Divine 
service, it is most desirable that it should be the best that 
circumstances will permit, and that as many as possible of 
the congregation should be able to join in it. For this 
purpose the laity of the parish should be induced to give 
their personal services and their money contributions, and 
as large a number as can be should be enlisted either as 
actual or as honorary members of the church choir. I 
have before me at this moment an annual report of St. 
James s Volunteer Choir, Bury St. Edmunds, from which 
it appears that it consisted in 1857 of eighteen "choir 
members " and forty-seven " honorary members," two of 
the latter being ladies. The choir members had subscribed 
4/. 7s. Qd., and the honorary members 14/. 8*. Qd. in the 
course of the year ; a Parish Festival Committee had 
contributed 10/., and had thus made up sufficient to 
pay 57. 5s. for a musical director, QL 9s. for the ex 
penses of a concert, and about 16/. for music, gas, book 
binding, copying, and sundry expenses. A further sum 
of 201. 11s. Qd. had also been collected (in lieu of the 
old system of collecting Christmas-boxes) for the singing 
boys fund, the number of the boys not being stated in the 
report, but probably bringing up the total of the Volunteer 
Choir to nearly a hundred ; and this in a parish where the 
population only reaches 3300. In the adjoining county 
of Cambridge there is a village of about 1200 people, all 
of the small fanner and labouring classes, where the staff 
of singers for the Sunday services amounts regularly to 
fifty in number, consisting chiefly of young men and 
women, none of whom are paid. The choral service has 
been maintained by a succession of such singers for about 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 321 

sixteen years, the clergyman of the parish working single- 
handed. I cannot undertake to say how many have passed 
through the training which this implies, but I should 
think the number would not fall short of two hundred. 

In both these cases, which I have used as apt illustra 
tions of the same thing in town and country, two advan 
tages may be at once observed. First, the praises of God 
are sung as they ought to be ; and secondly, a large 
number of persons are permanently interested in the 
service of the church. Of the town choir spoken of I 
have no personal knowledge, but of the other I can say 
that it has been the means of bringing about much inter 
course between the clergyman and the younger members 
of his flock ; and that he has been able to exercise a 
certain influence, and even discipline, by means of the 
organization in question, which would otherwise have 
been impossible 7 . And I have no doubt whatever that 
the experience of one such clergyman is the experi 
ence of hundreds, so far as respects the advantage in a 
pastoral sense, of interesting a large body of persons in 
the singing of Divine service. I need hardly point out 
that the educated laity might make themselves very useful 
indeed in such work, by leavening the body of singers 
with voices of a more refined order, by accompanying the 
singers in their practice, and even by conducting that 
practice where the clergyman required assistance or a 

" I may add, that it is well to encourage such a body of singers in singing 
glees and other secular music of good character. It is surprising how com 
pletely such singing will banish the ribald songs that are current among the 
labouring classes. 

Y 



322 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

substitute. I have some acquaintance with a Bedford 
shire parish in which the squire is both organist and choir 
trainer, and is to be found as regularly at his post as an 
ordinary paid professional. Much of such lay materiel lies 
ready to the hand of the parochial clergyman, and he will 
act wisely by endeavouring to mould it into use for God s 
service. 

I have already, in the last chapter, mentioned 
Evening evening schools as a fair field for the labours of 

ocnools and 

Lectures. the laity ; and they are so evidently such, that 
words are not needed to urge the point. I will 
only add to what is there said on the subject of the short 
lecture which was recommended, that whether in an 
evening school or elsewhere, such lectures and readings 
would certainly prove of great interest to the working 
classes when undertaken by educated laymen, and that 
much beneficial knowledge might be thus conveyed to 
them. By thus presenting themselves to the working 
classes, gentlemen of fortune or employers might gain an 
introduction to them for still higher purposes, and would 
assuredly establish a better feeling of unity Christian 
unity between the lower classes arid the upper than 
sometimes exists in either 8 . 

. Women and their Work. 

The most available form of lay help which the clergy 
man will find at his disposal is that offered by ladies of 

8 Mr. Longman, the publisher, has given very excellent lectures of this 
kind, the subject being English history. 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 323 

the higher middle classes, many of whom do, and many 
more wish to, devote themselves altogether to works of 
charity. 

Much more has been written on the subject of feminine 
agency in parochial work than on the co-operation of 
laymen with their clergyman ; and an extraordinary in 
terest was excited in it by the noble conduct of those 
ladies who with Miss Nightingale nursed our soldiers so 
effectively, when sickness and wounds had prostrated such 
unexpected numbers in the Crimean war. It is also felt 
that there are far more ladies of the class I have named 
who are at leisure to devote themselves to good works of 
this kind than there are men of any class ; and that many 
of them would gladly fly to them as a relief from com 
pulsory idleness, or from occupations of a trivial character 
which are scarcely better than idleness. 

But, although this abundance of material 
thus offers itself, I do not think that we are the clergy, 
right in immediately concluding that it is all 
of a character for the clergy to avail themselves of. 
Many ladies of the class I have mentioned have much 
" time on their hands," which they propose to devote to 
works of charity, only because the time is not taken off 
their hands by works of duty ; and it may be questioned 
whether there really ought to be so many ladies able to 
say that they can give up their time for visiting the poor. 
A lady who has taken much practical interest in the 
training of young women, speaking of several causes which 
prevent the formation of domestic habits among them in 
the lower classes, adds, " In the higher classes, luxury, 

Y 2 



324 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

the affectation of superiority to domestic employments, and 
the preference for public over private and obscure duties 
which characterize our age, are no less fatal to the cul 
tivation of the homely but venerable accomplishments 
which distinguished those illustrious ladies of former 
times, who governed their households with calm vigilance 
and intelligent authority. The notion that these accom 
plishments are inconsistent with high mental culture, 
refined taste or feminine grace, is altogether false. The 
conduct of a household, with order and economy, makes 
large demands on the reason and on the faculties of ob 
servation and discernment, and leaves these faculties 
strengthened for their application to purely intellectual 
objects. The conduct of a household with grace and 
dignity makes large demands on the sense of fitness, 
harmony, and beauty, and ripens that sense for exercise 
on purely rcsthetical objects We hear much lamenta 
tion over the decline of filial obedience and reverence. 
Let it be remembered, that the woman whose children 
rise up and call her blessed, whose husband s heart doth 
safely trust in her, is she who looketh well to the ways 
of her household, who worketh willingly with her hands, 
and who employs her great faculties and noble sentiments, 
strength, wisdom, charity, and kindness, in the 
service and guidance of those whom God has committed 
to her charge. Many daughters have done virtuously, 
but thou excellest them all V I have quoted this elo- 

9 " Two Letters on Girls Schools," &c., by Mrs. Austin, printed by 
Woodfall and Kinder, London, 1857. These letters are marked "Private" 
on the title-page; but as they appeared originally in the "Athenaeum," I 
have no scruple in quoting from them. 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 325 

quent passage for the purpose of strengthening and sup 
porting my own words of warning to the parochial clergy 
man, that he should be very careful at the outset of all 
plans for feminine parish work, (whether many ladies are 
concerned or only one,) to assure himself that he is justi 
fied in allowing that work to be undertaken by those who 
wish to engage in it. It may be that there are home 
duties overlooked or neglected, the proper fulfilment of 
which would leave little time for visiting the sick and the 
poor, teaching in the parish schools, or other work of a 
like character. The pastor may be doing a more real 
service to God, to his parish, and to society, by persuading 
ladies to look searchingly for these home duties, and to 
fulfil them faithfully, than by accepting their assistance in 
forwarding the objects of his own pastoral work among 
the poor 1 . It is his office to point out this faithful fulfil- 

1 It is not unnatural that married and unmarried ladies should view the 
domestic duties of life differently , but I think the fact of their doing so, 
(showing so strongly as it does that the knowledge of woman s home duties 
only comes after marriage,) is itself an argument in favour of more attention 
to them, and training in them in earlier life. In connexion with Mrs. Austin s 
opinion I place this of Miss Nightingale s : " The want of necessary occu 
pation among English girls must have struck every one. How usual it is 
to see families, five or six daughters at home, with no other occupation in 
life than a class in a Sunday school ; and what is that a chapter of the 
Bible is opened at random, and the spiritual doctor, with no more idea of 
her patient s malady than she has plans for improving it, explains at 
random. In the middle classes how many there are who feel themselves 
burdensome to their fathers or brothers ; but who, not finding husbands, 
and not having the education to be governesses, do not know what to do 

with themselves If, then, there are many who live unmarried, and 

many more who pass the third of the usual term of life unmarried, and if 
intellectual occupation is not meant to be their end in life, what are they 
to do with that thirst for action, useful action, which every woman feels 



326 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

ment of their own distinctive duties to all classes, and he 
should certainly be the last person in his parish willingly 
to sanction their neglect. It is his office also to point out 
that true Christian elevation is to be attained by the rich 
as well as the poor, through doing their duty in that state 
of life to which God has called them ; and that no ultimate 
good can come by " woman s work," if the poor are only 
improved through the deterioration of a higher class of 
society by the withdrawal of that " woman s work " from 
its normal position. 

However great facilities may offer themselves to him, 
then, for the employment of ladies in parochial work ; and 
however great good may seem to be in prospect from their 
engaging in it, do not let the pastor be tempted to take on 
himself the responsibility of accepting one individual 
helper without a careful consideration of that particular 
person s position at home, or without referring her to the 
home duties providentially imposed upon women, in some 
thing of the tone of warning I have thus indicated 2 . 

But, having used such precautions, let the pastor endea- 

who is not diseased in mind or body ?" But surely this restless " thirst for 
action " is not the natural characteristic of all good women ! 

2 Nor is it unnecessary, (I am sorry to say,) to add that parents have a 
right to be consulted in every case, before their unmarried daughters are 
permitted to undertake any thing like parochial visiting ; and that no good 
can come from its being Vvilfully undertaken in opposition to their wishes. 
The consent of husbands, in a like case, seems too much a matter of mere 
propriety to need urging. Clergymen have not unfrequently alienated heads 
of families by allowing their zeal to outrun their discretion in this matter ; 
and indeed, to outrun their duty. No work can be acceptable to God which 
is built on so bad a foundation as the disregard of a law so prominent as 
that of parental authority and filial obedience. 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 327 

vour to avail himself to the full extent of those services 
which the devotional and affectionate instincts of woman s 
nature place so readily at the disposal of the Church. As 
lay help in general will strengthen his hands in dealing 
with his parishioners, so will he find special advantages in 
the assistance of feminine helpers in many branches of his 
pastoral work. 

One of the most useful employments which 
ladies can undertake in a parish is that of ^f^oo! 
working in the parish school, and it will be an 
excellent thing if the clergyman can so arrange as to have 
one or more (according to the size of the school) present 
continually. This is a kind of employment which falls in 
with the home responsibilities of which I have been endea 
vouring to show the importance, almost better than any 
other. No teacher can impart the beginnings of know 
ledge to a child so effectively as a good mother ; and no 
impressions remain so permanently fixed upon the mind of 
after-childhood, or even of mature years, as those which 
are made by her. But it is very probable that these good 
impressions are not made so commonly as they might be 
simply from the fact that the natural instinct of the 
feminine mind, the maternal instinct, has been rendered 
comparatively inactive, and remained wholly untutored, 
through want of experience in dealing with children. 
Hence the children of the class from which I am supposing 
parochial helpers to be chiefly provided are too often 
turned over to " nursery governesses," as to persons better 
qualified than the mothers themselves to undertake the 
task of training those early years which God s providence 



328 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPEltATlOX. 

has especially committed to the latter. It may, therefore, 
form a very important element in their own training, for 
young ladies to become teachers in the school, under the 
eye of the regular teacher and the clergyman ; since they 
will be learning that discipline of temper, and that habit of 
teaching which may be of solid service to themselves and 
their children in after life. 

But, I do not, of course, mean that this is the only, or 
even the principal value which such voluntary teaching 
possesses. To the school itself it is valuable also by adding 
to the staff of teachers, and enabling the system of educa 
tion to assume a more individual character than it often 
does. Every one knows the saying about dashing water 
over narrow-necked bottles and pouring it into each neck 
separately ; and every one knows how we have endeavoured 
to multiply teachers by the monitorial and the pupil- 
teacher systems. It appears to me that teachers might be 
far more multiplied than they have ever yet been with 
great advantage, and that a voluntary staff of teachers 
should form an auxiliary part of every parish school. 
But this is more especially necessary in respect to the 
younger children ; and it is with them that ladies would often 
find themselves most at home and most successful. You 
can teach geography, or arithmetic, or writing to a large 
class of elder children as well as to a small one ; but each 
little one who has to be taught reading must be gently 
and patiently handled by itself, and treated as a very 
narrow-necked bottle indeed. The same may also be said 
of religious teaching, the smaller children gaining but 
little from the instruction given to the school generally by 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 329 

the master and the clergyman, and the habits of thought 
of the latter being of a kind that, to a certain extent, 
unfit them for communicating religious knowledge to 
little folks whose understandings are scarcely fledged, and 
whose answers to a catechetical lesson have to be drawn 
out of them with much patient repetition and labour. 

Of course it is essential that lady-teachers should con 
form strictly to the rules of the schools to which they give 
their services. The clergyman s permission given, and his 
general control acknowledged, every lady so engaged must 
put herself in a position strictly subordinate to the master 
or mistress of the school, and can only assume authority 
over pupil- teachers by delegation from them 3 . It is very 
desirable that the authority of the principal teacher should 
not be in any way lessened by the introduction of volun 
teers, and therefore every lady should submit to take up 
her position under them in the school, whatever their 
respective positions may be out of it, with as good a grace 
as Charles I. showed when he acceded to Dr. Busby s 
covered head as he walked among the Westminster boys. 
It will also be necessary, because the principal teacher s 
position in respect to volunteer teachers is rather a diffi 
cult one, and there may be a want of tact to settle down 
to its requirements which the volunteer can silently 
supply ; the latter being probably better trained to self- 
possession and adaptation to circumstances. In time, if 
the lady-teacher is regular in her attendance at the time 
when she has agreed to attend, exact in fulfilling the 

3 This should he clearly understood, as, of course, awkward difficulties 
might arise from interference with pupil -teachers. 



330 PAROCHIAL LAY CO- OPERATION. 

school duties she has undertaken, and careful to use a 
homely phrase in " minding her own business," she 
will find herself welcome to teachers and children too, 
an efficient helper in an important Church work, the 
beloved and respected leader of many little Christian 
brothers and sisters into the paths of knowledge and 
righteousness. 

I have said that the lady-teacher will pro- 
Evening bably find herself most at home and most suc- 

classes. * 

cessfulwith the younger children in the school, 
because the imparting of knowledge to elder children is a 
work best done by those who have had a special training 
for that purpose, whereas the teaching of little ones is a 
natural gift of womanhood which no training-school edu 
cation could supply. But at the same time, ladies may 
make themselves extremely useful in a parish by taking 
evening classes at their own houses, admitting to them 
girls only, and of them only those whose occupations 
prevent them from going to the day school. Sometimes 
these will require very elementary teaching, but, of course, 
others will already have stayed out their full time at the 
daily school. In any case, however, good reading by the 
lady-teacher or the girls, or by both in turns, (of a re 
ligious tendency,) will be highly beneficial ; and scarcely 
less so the insensible refinement which grows upon young 
girls when they are thus brought into contact with one 
of their own sex at her own home. In respect to such 
classes the clergyman will be ready to advise, and to 
assist if in any way his help is really needed ; but he will 
find it best to abstain from assuming any authority over 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 331 

them, regarding them rather as a domestic than an edu 
cational auxiliary to his pastoral work 4 . It is a quiet, 
unostentatious auxiliary, but one calculated to strengthen 
good principles in young girls at a critical period of their 
youth, and to give them much aid in their endeavours to 
keep hold of the good they have learned at school ; and 
therefore to be much respected by the clergyman. Such 
an evening class may, by the grace of God be a happy 
preventive, where a penitentiary, at a future day, could 
only offer a cure with bitter tears. 

It appears to me that, as a rule, and espe 
cially in towns, where the poor are not so well 
known as in villages, the educational work 
which I have sketched out above is better suited for 
young ladies than district visiting. There are many 
roughnesses and impurities connected with the life of the 
poor wherever they are crowded together, (of which none 
are more conscious than some of the very persons who 
live in the midst of them,) and I certainly hold the 
opinion that a father or mother acts most wisely in de 
clining to allow a young daughter to come in contact 
with them except in case of necessity. In country villages 
the case is often altogether different, it being possible 
there for a lady to visit many cottages without being 
brought face to face with gross and ostentatious wicked 
ness. 



4 The " Two Letters," from which I before quoted, mention a case of a 
lady who taught young women self-respect, and brought them under good 
influences, by getting them together of an evening for the purpose of 
mending their clothes. 



332 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

But ladies of a mature age, who have lived long enough 
to gain some knowledge of the world, who are either 
widows, or married, or have arrived at a time of life when 
marriage is improbable, may be considered suitable for 
district visitors 5 under most circumstances ; although I 
doubt whether the clergyman should encourage any to 
visit in the worst kind of streets and lanes, unless they 
are really devoting themselves permanently to working 
among the poor, and have given some proof that they 
are persons well fitted for such duties 6 . 

It is not my object here to write a guide for district 
visitors themselves, or it might be necessary to extend my 
remarks to a much greater length than they will occupy ; 
but only to point out to the clergyman the manner in 
which he may best bring such helpers into co- operation 
with himself, so that they may work together in drawing 
souls to Christ. 

(1) It seems to be of great importance that 

Clerical the kind of work undertaken by lady visitors, 
supervision 

of visitors, so far as it is a specially religious work, should 
be undertaken by them with the express 
sanction of the clergyman, and that the unity which such 
workers naturally crave after should be found in the 
work as a parish or Church work, and not in any private 

s It seems to have been assumed that " District Visitor " is the name of 
an office belonging to ladies alone. I prefer the newer title of Parochial 
Visitor, which has not yet been so restricted. 

* In such cases and places a distinctive dress, such sis Mrs. Fry wore 
as a Quakeress, or such as is worn by Sisters of Mercy, is very effective 
towards ensuring a respectful reception, the suppression of oaths in the 
presence of its wearer, and general freedom from insult. 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 333 

society. The ladies should be visitors sent by the Church, 
and not sent by a district visiting association. It is only 
by keeping this principle in view that the permanency so 
much to be desired is to be given to the best efforts of 
ladies in religious work among the poor. The separate 
"association" has in it an element of schism; and the 
work of its members, however good and well-meaning 
they may be, seldom tends really to strengthen the con 
nexion between the Church and the poor. It is the 
clergyman s duty to work in his own person according to 
the system marked out by the Church, and in strict sub 
ordination to the parochial system ; and he will act wisely 
in requiring that all who assist him in his labours conform 
to the same rule. 

(2) It should be clearly understood by clergy 
and visitors what the latter are to do, and ^ ty oi 
where they are to go ; and rules should be laid 
down, and printed, for their general guidance 7 . The 
principal objects, I conceive, of lady- visitors visiting, 
should be to read the Scriptures to the ignorant and 
incapacitated, especially of their own sex; to search out 
the sick that they may inform the clergyman ; to promote 
the comfort of the poor by judicious advice on domestic 
subjects ; to sweep the children into the schools ; to 
promote the use of parochial institutions, such as clubs, 
penny banks, &c. ; to persuade the poor to go to church ; 
to give personal service in cases of sickness ; and, not 

7 " Hints to District Visitors, followed by a few Prayers selected for 
their Use, by Francis Hessey, D.C.L. London, Skeffington," is a little work 
strongly to be recommended to the clergy for this purpose. 



334 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

unfrequently, to make up the number required for the 
administration of the Holy Communion to the sick. But 
the details of system will probably vary a good deal, 
according to the nature of the parish, and the manner 
in which it is worked by the clergyman. It will also 
be found that some ladies are best qualified for one 
kind of work, and some for another ; and there should 
be a general desire on the part of clergy and visitors 
alike, that each should be so set to work as most to pro 
mote by that work the glory of God and the good of 
souls. 

(3) The work of visiting the poor should 
character on ty De undertaken in a devotional spirit, as 
given to service rendered to God, and rendered in His 

the work. 

Church. To promote such a spirit, all visitors 

should be requested to use some special prayer or prayers 
in connexion with their work ; and to be as punctual 
and exact as they can in attendance at all the services 
of the Church. It would be well, also, to fix some par 
ticular day in the year, or in every quarter, on which all 
should meet together to receive the Holy Communion, 
with special reference to the work in which they are 
engaged. 

Much more might be said on the prolific subject of 
woman s parochial work ; and there are many schemes on 
trial in the shape of Nursing Institutions, Penitentiaries, 
Sisterhoods, Training Institutions for Servants, Bible 
Women, &c., all of which are deserving of respect for the 
good intentions of those who work them, and many for the 
results of their labours. But these experiments are scarcely 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 335 

in so settled a state as to enable a writer to speak of them 
otherwise than as experiments for some time to come ; and 
I have thought it better to restrict myself to pointing out 
the manner in which women may work for the Church by 
means of existing organizations. I have also been obliged 
to omit noticing, for a string of anecdotes would be the 
only way of showing it, how many other and unforeseen 
ways there are in which an observant clergyman may turn 
feminine gentleness and self-sacrifice to account in the 
necessities that are constantly arising for its exercise, and 
coming under his notice. Let him only have a set of 
visitors, sisters, or whatever name they are called by, a set 
of devout and Avorking Christian ladies at his command 
for the work of Christ, and he will find no lack of oppor 
tunity for their employment, or of willingness on their 
part to be employed in any thing that they can undertake. 

. Organization of Laity for Church tvork. 

In what I have hitherto written, it will be observed 
that nothing has been said of any very exact system of 
organizing laymen and women for their co-operation in 
Church work, nor of episcopal guidance and supervision. 
It appears to me that we are not ripe for either ; and must 
be content to go on at present in an irregular manner, 
depending upon the uncertain means at our disposal, and 
the limited authority which can be exercised by the 
parochial clergyman. After all, good principles, founded 
on a just appreciation of his own spiritual position and 
responsibilities, a moderately sound judgment, and that 
energy which is always awake to opportunities, these will 



336 PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 

do more to help a parish priest towards attaining the end 
in view than the nicest possible system, cut and dried, 
without them. There is too much disposition among us 
to be satisfied only with delicately finished tools, when 
rough ones wielded by ready hands would answer the 
purpose equally well, and keep the workman less intent on 
his tool than his labour. It is of little use to possess an 
elaborately well devised instrument for carving out a 
certain material unless we have the skill to use it, or the 
material to work upon ; still less to leave the precious 
material to rot while we are waiting for a tool that exactly 
meets our fancy. Work may be provided for the laity of 
his parish by almost every earnest clergyman ; and in 
almost every parish workers of some kind are to be found. 
But we must wait longer before the laity can be organized 
into formal bodies, even supposing such an organization 
should be expedient, and before the experiments now 
making shall prove so far sound that they may receive the 
stamp of authority at the hands of our spiritual guides, 
rulers, and chief pastors. 

It will be necessary, therefore, for every clergyman to 
consider the requirements of his own particular position, 
and of his parish ; and to ascertain where lay help would be 
advantageous. The school fund may depend almost entirely 
upon himself, here is an opportunity for enlisting a sense 
of lay responsibility for the education of the poor. The 
school itself may be in great need of more teachers, here 
is an opportunity for seeking personal service in conduct 
ing it. The poor of the parish may abound beyond his 
own power of attending to them, or even beyond that of 



PAROCHIAL LAY CO-OPERATION. 337 

himself and any number of clergy that he can call to his 
aid, then let him seek for visitors among his laity, men 
and women, who will help him by relieving him of such 
part of the work as can be done as well by them as by 
himself. And whatever he asks his laity to undertake, 
let him ask them also to give him their confidence, to 
believe that he desires above all things that all together 
may draw souls to Christ, and to accept his regulations in 
the spirit in which they are made, that all may work 
towards that one end, however various the nature of their 
several labours may be. 

I will only add that the duties of the laity in respect to 
personal participation in works of charity ought to be 
frequently urged from the pulpit in all town parishes, 
especially in such cities as London and Manchester. 



CHAPTER XL 

AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

EVERY active clergyman will find it desirable, and even 
necessary, to supplement the ordinary parochial system 
with various Clubs, Savings Bank, Lending Library, and 
other institutions of the sort, which are not connected 
directly with the work of his office, but which are yet 
ancillary to that work in no unimportant degree. In 
country places these institutions will be almost entirely 
dependent on the clergyman and his family for their 
origin, support, and practical working ; but where there are 
any of the laity who can be persuaded to undertake a share 
in their management, or to relieve the clergyman of some 
of them almost entirely, he will find many good reasons, 
as indicated in the last chapter, for putting them into 
their hands ; still maintaining them as parish and Church 
institutions by being at the head of them himself. 

The auxiliary institutions to which I am referring will 
generally be such as resolve themselves under three 
classes; (1) a means for promoting provident habits; (2) 
for offering wholesome recreation and improvement to 
working men, especially in the evening ; (3) for securing 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 339 

personal interest in the work of the Church. I will en 
deavour to sketch out shortly and clearly the principles 
and the working machinery of some useful institutions 
under each of these heads. 

. Means for promoting provident habits. 

Among the first and most useful of these, 
must be reckoned a comparatively recent appli- b a ^k" ny 
cation of the savings -bank principle, which 
has extended its good effects to a much lower stratum of 
society ; and which has so little of novelty in it, that we 
may at once accept it as an institution of proved value. 
" Penny " banks are, in reality, savings banks, or banks 
of deposit, in which the machinery is made as simple as 
possible, the smallest sum received, and every thing done 
to bring them temptingly home to the poorest classes. 
The ordinary savings bank has always been a dead letter 
to the majority of the day labouring classes, both in town 
and country, but the eagerness with which the modern 
adaptation of it to their wants has been seized on, proves 
that it was no want of will to make small savings which 
proved the hindrance, but the comparatively cumbrous 
character of the machinery which was necessary for re 
ceiving and paying back deposits l . Even in the town of 
Derby, where opportunity offered itself for a comparison 

1 There are very few Savings Banks of the old kind in any but large 
towns, and depositors are often kept waiting a long while before their turn 
comes. I have often been obliged to wait half-an-hour, when depositing 
club money. The Post Office Savings Banks are scarcely more available 
than the older ones for the poor. 

/. 2 



340 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 



of the two systems, the Rev. Erskine Clarke found the 
following result from the "work of one Saturday night 
at each 2 :" 





Amount 
Deposited. 


Number of 
Depositors. 


Sums 
under 5s. 


Savings Bank .... 
Penny Bank 


*. d. 
54 14 3 
20 1 6 


49 
242 


6 
221 











There is reason to believe that the merest fraction of all 
these small depositors, in this and other cases, would have 
availed themselves of the ordinary savings bank ; so that 
here is a clear penetration of a good principle to a class of 
society likely to benefit by its adoption, which makes 
the penny bank an institution that may be confidently 
taken up by the parochial clergyman. And it may be 
safely added that the great majority of deposits made 
in it will be so much withdrawn from mere waste and 
sensual drinking, to be applied at a subsequent time to 
better, and perhaps very good, purposes 3 . 

"Where such a bank I confess to thinking the name 

2 Plain Papers on the Social Economy of the People. No. II. Penny 
Banks. Bell and Daldy. 

1 The continued success of these institutions may be seen in the follow 
ing statement. "From the lately published report of the Central Com 
mittee of the Yorkshire Penny Savings Bank for the year 1862, it appears 
that, at the close of 1861, the number of districts open was twenty-nine, 
and the number of branches open 161, while the deposits amounted to 
40,5717. 1C*. Id. On the 31st of December last there were thirty-one 
districts and 171 branches. The balance of deposits over repayments 
amounted to 52,238Z. Is. I0d., and the number of depositors was 17,796. 
Number of deposits made during last year, 134,219; number of with 
drawals, 12,738." 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 341 

might be improved is to be founded on a large scale, it 
will be best for the clergyman to make himself well- 
acquainted with the system advocated by Mr. Clarke in 
the pamphlet I have referred to ; and also, if he can, by 
personal observation of the plan on which it is practically 
carried out. But in a parish where the number of de 
positors would not extend beyond one or two hundred 
there is generally room for some modification of that 
system, such as combining the bank with a clothing or 
coal club, adding interest to the money deposited, re 
quiring regular payments of a minimum sum weekly, &c. ; 
and some of these additions to the mere deposit system 
may, from the influence of local circumstances, be as 
valuable in promoting habits of providence as the simple 
principle of the " penny " bank is, in its degree. 

In establishing a parochial bank of this kind it must 
be considered, first of all, whether interest on the deposits 
can or cannot be guaranteed by the clergyman, either 
from his own pocket, or by means of subscriptions, or 
from some parish fund. If so, the rate should be fixed 
rather high, and it should not be paid at all on deposits 
which have been in the bank under a certain time, or on 
any sum beyond a certain amount, or for more than a 
year. Among artizans who are receiving high wages, 
interest is of no consequence, but it is valued by agricul 
tural labourers, and by all the poorer classes ; so that it 
will depend much oil the nature of the locality whether 
it is expedient to give it or not. Supposing that the 
decision is in favour of interest, and that it is also in 
favour of combining a coal and clothing club, or either, 



342 AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

with the bank, it will be necessary to have suitable forms 
printed on which the depositor may possess a statement 
of the deposits made, and a book in which a duplicate 
statement may be written for the guidance and security 
of the banker who receives them. There is a moral ad 
vantage in adopting a card for the first, instead of an 
ordinary depositor s book. Being divided into weeks, and 
open to the eye of the depositor, blanks are conspicuous, 
and if they arise from negligence or extravagance, they 
offer a silent reproach ; and simple as the matter may 
seem, it is one worth regarding when the object is that 
of training to provident habits. I should recommend, 
therefore, that 500 or more of cards be procured, having 
the rules of the bank printed on one side, and columns 
for the account on the other ; and also a book of 300 
pages, with two duplicates of the account side of the card 
on every right-hand page 4 . A small cash account book, 
(in which to enter the weekly payments of depositors, and 
repayments to them, in a gross sum on either side,) and 
two wooden bowls for holding the silver and copper 
money paid in, will, with cards and duplicate book, con 
stitute the banker s stock in trade, the whole costing about 
two pounds. 

Both the rules and the accounts should be as simple as 
possible, but yet the latter should be contrived to show 
at any time the state of the deposit; both for the sake 
of knowing how the account stands, and of winding it up 
without much calculation. The following, for card and 

4 The left-hand page being left for remarks, notices of intended with 
drawal, &c. 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 



343 



duplicate book, and combining the several features I am 
pre- supposing to have been adopted, will be found to 
answer the purpose well. 



William Smith. 


57 


WEEKS. 


MONTHLY 
TOTALS. 


1 


2 \ 3 | 4 


5 


Coal 
or 
Clothing. 


Money. 


r 
or 
C 


u 



ir 


3 


u 


c 
or 
c 


M 


c 
or 



u 


i 
>r 
< 


u 





s. 


d. 


s. | d. 


December . . . 


. , 


3 


! 


3 


2 


3 





3 


2 




1 


3 




1 


5 


January 


;; 


- 


:! 


2 


3 


1 


3 


3 








1 










6 




February . . . . 


:; 


2 


3 

:; 


2 


:; 


3 


3 


1 









1 










8 


March 


:; 


6 




3 


- 


3 








1 










6 




April 


1 


1 


3 


2 


3 


2 


:; 


I 






1 







1 







Jtfav . . , 


3 


s 


3 


2 


3 


1 


3 


1 


3 






1 


3 




I 


3 




June 


3 




3 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 








1 















July 


3 


12 


3 


6 


3 


1 


3 2 








1 







2 







August 


3 


- 


3 


12 


3 


L2 


3 


3 








1 







2 


3 




September. . . 


3 




slio 


3 


6 


> 


6 








1 







I 


10 


October 


3 




3 


24 


3 


1 


:; 


6 








1 







2 


10 




November. . . . 


:; 


1 


3 




3 


- 


3 


6 








1 










10 


Withdrawn . . 





s. 


d 


INTEREST 




12 
1 


6 

oj 




15 
1 


1 

3 


13 


6 




16 


4 



344 AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

[Back of the Card.] 



St. f oJjn s 



RULES OF THE BANK, CLOTHING, AND COAL CLUB. 



1. The Bank is open every Monday morning at the Club House, 

from 10 till 12. 

2. Any sum, however small, is received. 

3. Deposits may be withdrawn at any time on giving a week s 

notice. 

4. All deposits arc repaid, or Coal or Clothing tickets given in the 

first week of December. 

5. Interest is given at the rate of one penny in the shilling on all 

money up to 21. in the whole, that has been deposited, 
unless there have been four weeks running without any deposit 
in either column. 



At the club house, then, or in some other convenient 
place, let the clergyman, or a confidential substitute, take 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INST1TUTIOXS. 345 

up their station, and be prepared to receive deposits punc 
tually at the time fixed in the rules 5 . If many are ex 
pected, it is better to have a convenient and definite 
arrangement of the room, so that they may enter and 
depart from it in an orderly manner and without delay ; 
and it so often happens that a majority of those who come 
arrive at the same time, as to make such an arrangement 
really necessary for all concerned, either by means of a 
permanent barrier, such as is used before the ticket window 
of railway stations, or else by some cunning complication 
of the furniture of the room in the neighbourhood of the 
table. It is also advisable, where there are two or three 
hundred depositors to have two persons at the table, one 
to receive the money and enter it in the book, the other 
to mark the card and return it to the depositor. When 
notice is given for the withdrawal of any sum, the card 
should be left until the following week, that it may be 
made up at leisure during the interval ordered by the 
rules. On the last pay-day of the bank year, the last in 
the month of November, all the cards must be given in 
by depositors, to be made up, and compared with the book. 
This is a work of some labour, and requires a quick 
calculator, but it will bo much facilitated if the monthly 
column on the extreme right has been regularly filled 
up in the book and on the card, and the two compared. 
Punctual attention to this column is also a security against 

5 Lay visitors would, of course, be used as much as possible for such pur 
poses as those under consideration. I have not thought it necessary in the 
text, to recur to the subject of lay help, as this is so self-evident an 
application of such valuable assistance. 



346 AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

fraud (which it is desirable to guard against), or mistakes, 
which can be cleared up, perhaps, at the end of the month, 
but cannot if undiscovered till the end of the year. 

The coal part of the business is best managed by arrang 
ing with a neighbouring coal-dealer to supply the necessary 
quantity at some reduction in consideration of the many 
tons required ; and to deliver it only on the production of 
an order signed by the responsible person ; all the orders 
being kept until the settlement of the account, as vouchers 
for the quantity actually supplied by him. If there are 
many coal depositors, (and the number will vary much in 
different localities,) it will be convenient to have an order 
book made in the form of a cheque book, similar to this, 
which I have found very convenient : 

Coal Club. 
To Mr. 




Please to deliver not. of Coals 



(Signed) 



Secretary 



The clothing part of the club may be managed in two ways, 
each of which has its advocates. The easiest is to give 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 347 

orders on one or more linendrapers of the kind patronized 
by the working classes. But I think the best way is for 
some two or three ladies to take lists of the materials 
which each woman requires, and then, having arranged 
these lists so that they can calculate the quantities of calico 
or gown print, or whatever else may be wanted, to give 
the order in its agglomerate form to a tradesman who will 
take it on some fair terms of reduction or discount, such 
as he could not offer if he had to dole out the articles in 
small quantities to each person. Sometimes, an arrange 
ment may thus be made even with the Manchester or 
Glasgow manufacturer, the expense of carriage being much 
less than the reduction in price. But these are details 
which must be decided by a consideration of the circum 
stances of the place, and of all the persons concerned, and 
it will not be necessary for me to go further into them. 
A good clergyman s wife, or some other experienced 
matron, should be very busy about them at the time when 
the club is winding up for the year ; and to many ladies 
this kind of work is a pleasant one, as well as being a work 
of real charity to their less well-informed or less thrifty 
sisters among the poor. 

In the suggestions thus offered for a combined Provident 
Bank and Club, the general principles and plan of such 
institutions will be found ; Shoe Clubs, Lying-in Clubs, 
and adaptation in matters of detail, will offer no difficulties 
that need explanation. Among a dense population, the 
introduction of them is, upon the whole, less advantageous 
than that of a " Penny " Bank ; but in a village parish 
there are subordinate influences connected with them, 



348 AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

which heighten their value as a means of promoting 
Christian prudence, and there they must be judged on 
other than strictly logical or financial grounds. 

. Means of Recreation and Improvement. 

Nearly every parish has now its Lending 
library S Library, and the management of it is so simple, 
that I shall pass it by with the one remark, 
that it should be made very accessible, and that a genial 
tone of books should be freely cultivated, as well for 
grown up readers as for children 6 . 

Among all the means that have been contrived for pro 
viding the working classes with wholesome recreation of 
an instructive kind, I know none that prove so successful as 
a sensible combination of the Mechanic s Institute system 
and the free English home, which becomes to the working 
man what his club is to the man of higher station. The 
necessity for such institutions is becoming more and more 
evident. After the hours of work are over, there are 
several hours yet for which some occupation, or some 
means of passing the time, are required. In a working 
man s home there is little room for the men of the family 
in the evening, and they are often in the way until supper 
time arrives. There is also a natural tendency among 
men to find opportunities for associating together occa- 

6 For some details, however, see Appendix, E and F. Old magazines, 
(which arc to be bought at any London second-hand-book shop for a tenth 
of the cost price,) furnish much useful material for a lending library. They 
must be looked through, and the good parts taken out and bound in thin 
volumes. 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 349 

sionally for the indefinable satisfaction which is derived 
from society. These reasons lie at the root of the public- 
house habits of our labouring men in town and country, 
the pleasure of sipping beer or spirits being originally at 
least a subordinate attraction, an accident of the circum 
stance that the only public place open to free use is that 
where they are the source of trade and profit. The Odd 
Fellows Association, and others of a less extensive organ 
ization, but very similar character, are partly a result of 
this natural tendency of men in the lower ranks of life, as 
in the upper, to associate together for social enjoyment ; 
but very few of them have been able to drag themselves 
free from the public- house bondage by meeting in rooms 
of their own ; though many of them do make drinking a 
very subordinate part indeed of the evening s occupation ; 
and heavy fines are imposed for intoxication or disorderly 
conduct 7 . 

It will not unfrequently fall to the lot of the pastor to 
look with an anxious eye towards the establishment of 
some institution which will provide in a healthy manner 
for a want so commonly indicated, but so badly supplied ; 
and whether in a village or a town, he will find a 
"Working Man s Club" a most useful addition to his 



* 7 Rules 130133 in the laws of the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows. 
An article on " Unity and Fellowship among the Working Classes," by the 
present writer, appeared in the May 1862 number of the " North of England 
Magazine," containing many statistics and details on the subject. There are 
probably 640,000 working men who are members of the Odd Fellows and 
kindred associations, and the annual disbursements to needy members are of 
very large amount. 



350 AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

parochial arrangements. It must take a very varied 
character, according to the means at his disposal ; and in 
some cases more of the religious or the educational element 
may be introduced than is mostly advisable or possible. 
But in every such club the founders must carefully keep 
before them the two facts that it is intended for those 
who have already done a day s work, and that it can only 
be made to answer by a judicious adaptation of its regu 
lations and character to the habits of the class who are 
expected to use it. 

An account of the establishment of such a club at Hagley 
was printed in the " Minutes of the Committee of Council 
on Education " for 1851-2, and the reader will find some 
very practical information in those parts of it which I 
subjoin. The writer is the Hon. and Rev. "W. H. Lyt- 
telton, rector of the parish, and he says : " We turned 
the school room after school hours into a reading room, 
making it as comfortable as possible, and furnishing it 
with illustrated newspapers and books, and with draught 
and chess boards. This was so new a kind, of thing to 
common labourers, and the amusements it offered were so 
quiet, that there was danger they would be shy of it, and 
not attend. We therefore at first induced them to come 
chiefly for a cricket-match, and told them, that when tired 
of that, or obliged by darkness to stop, they might then 
attend the reading room. This answered well, and I then 
took the occasion of a cricket-match on one of the race 
days (when masters in this country generally give their 
workmen a half-holiday) to give them a dinner, at which 
I proposed and carried the rules, and elected officers. 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 351 

This increased my influence, and started the club with 
spirit and good feeling. 

" The point of electing officers is very important. We 
have a permanent president, viz. myself. I was appointed 
to the office, not so much as rector, but rather, as it is 
stated in the rules, as founder of the club, as it is desirable 
to make all feel that laymen are quite as much interested 
in the club as the clergyman, and also to make it at future 
times open to the club to elect any other person president, 
if he should happen to seem better fitted for the office than 
the clergyman. Then, besides the president, we elect 
annually two vice-presidents, a treasurer, a secretary, two 
collectors, a librarian, and six committee-men. The object 
of having so many officers is to make as many as possible 
feel personally interested in the management and high 
character of the club. We have committee meetings once 
a month. The subscription at present is eighteen-pence a 
quarter, probably rather too large a sum, and unnecessary, 
as many of the rich have given subscriptions. 

"We found, at first, that the greater number came to 
the reading room almost only to play draughts and to look 
at the engravings in the newspaper. This it was clear 
could not last, and already there are few who come often 
to play draughts. It was necessary, therefore, to try to 
draw them into some occupation of more lasting interest. 
For this purpose I have offered a prize, at the end of every 
half-year, to every one who by that time shall have read 
any useful book chosen by himself and approved by me, so 
as to be able to stand an examination in it." [This, how 
ever, was not found to answer.] 



352 AUXILIAKY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

" The advantages I already see in the club are many ; 
it gives a great opportunity for the clergy and other 
Christians in the place to gain influence with the young 
men. Even if at any time few shall belong to it, it will 
always give an alternative for the beer-shop to the well- 
disposed. But, probably, the chief advantage will be the 
tendency it must have, if rightly managed, to encourage a 
right feeling and tone in public opinion among the 
members, to lead them to do right, by their own good 
feeling and sympathy with others in good, and not by 
compulsion. The habit of acting not selfishly but from 
public spirit, and of being willing to give money for the 
public good, without any immediate return to themselves, 
is effectively brought out. When the music class was first 
established, and it was necessary ,to draw from the common 
fund to pay the master, some at first objected, on the 
ground that they themselves (not being musicians) would 
receive no benefit from it ; but were soon induced to with 
draw their objections on being made to feel its selfishness, 
and contrariety to the ground-principle of a club, which is 
a desire in each member for the good of the whole body, 
and not of any one class among the members. Self-denial, 
out of good- will to one another, is in this way practically 
taught ; and so far as that can be built on the common 
love of God, and of righteousness, justice, mercy, and 
truth, and all things which God loves, and on real Chris 
tian motives, it does solid and lasting good. It must be 
the object of all Christian members of the club to lead all 
to act habitually from such instead of from selfish and 
mean motives. Lectures may also be given, and prizes 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 353 

offered for knowledge of the Bible and religious sub 
jects. 

" A museum of the natural productions of the country, 
and of its manufactures, has also been started ; the gar 
deners collecting wild and other flowers, the workers in 
iron and others specimens of iron ore and of wrought iron 
in different stages of its manufacture, the stonemasons 
specimens of stone, and others bringing glass or any other 
manufactured materials from the neighbourhood, and pos 
sibly some member may learn to stuff birds and animals. 
Clubs like this may at last be made universities for the 
poor, where they may learn all useful knowledge V 

The rules of a similar institution are now before me, 
which is on a less ambitious scale than the above, and 
which has its home like it in the parish school. It may 
be useful to give a summary of the more important of 
these rules, by way of completing the sketch given in the 
preceding paragraphs. 

Rules of the Church Institute. 

1. Defines the name. 

2. That the object of the Institute be the extension of 
general knowledge, in subordination to Christianity, and 
in accordance with the principles of the Church of 
England. 

8 In connexion with this latter paragraph, I may mention that an oppor 
tunity was offered me for opening an exhibition in a mining district in the 
year 1862, in imitation of the Great Exhibition. The building lent me was 
large enough to hold about 1000 people ; the things exhibited were all lent 
by manufacturers, the neighbouring gentry, and others. A band played for 



354 AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

3. States the officers of the Institute, and committee of 
management. 

4. Who are to be annually elected, but the old officers 
to be eligible for re-election. 

5 and 6. Duties of Treasurer, Secretary, and Com 
mittee. 

7. States terms of membership; honorary members 
subscribe six shillings a year ; ordinary members four 
shillings, and lads under eighteen years of age two shil 
lings ; to be paid in advance quarterly. 

8. Members to be admitted by election at a Committee, 
or a general, Meeting. 

9. Committee has power to expel disorderly members. 

10. Publications to be voted by the Committee, subject 
to the veto of the President. 

But, if a separate building can be procured, which 
can be appropriated to other parochial purposes as well 
as the Working Men s Club, or Church Institute, it 
may be made the nucleus of an admirable parish 
auxiliary, and by tact in its management become so 
popular as to be almost a self-paying institution. In such 
a case, provision should be made for supplying some 
homely kind of refreshment at a low price during the 
evening; and if a smoking-room can be added to the 

some hours every evening, and a piano often in the day. Volunteer concerts 
were also given on several evenings. In a fortnight about 10,000 persons 
passed through the building, and showed the greatest interest in the works 
of art, models, natural history specimens, &c., which were shown. The 
highest price of admission was 6d., but the expense was more than covered ; 
and I had good reason to think a very ameliorating effect was produced 
on an extremely rough population. 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 355 

establishment, experience shows that it will bring a large 
addition of members without causing the least disorder. 

An important point in such institutions is to keep them 
well lighted and warmed, and well ventilated. A certain 
amount of refinement about the decorations is desirable, 
and a general air of comfort thrown over the whole, which 
will make it at least equal to the club-room of the public- 
house, and if possible, a great deal more tempting. There 
need be no fear of destroying the taste for home. The 
members who use the institution most will be the young 
unmarried men, and even they will probably be more 
domesticated by it than they ever would be if they had no 
such refuge in which to spend the unoccupied hours of the 
evening. 

Perhaps the best model of such an institution as this is 
one that was established in Oxford three or four years ago 
under the name of the "Oxford Churchmen s Union." 
It unites the various features of a Mechanics Institute, a 
Young Men s Christian Association, and an Evening Club ; 
and leaped into such rapid popularity with the classes for 
w r hom it was founded, that it has now a handsome set of 
buildings in Broad Street, and numbers nearly a thousand 
members. Its constitution underwent a searching review 
at meetings of the clergy and many laymen of Oxford, and 
as it will probably be the pattern of many associations 
like itself in other parts of the country, I have printed the 
Rules and Bye-Laws in the Appendix 9 . Its objects will 

9 See Appendix D. 

Aa2 



356 AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

be seen to be of a very excellent character, embracing 
some of the most desirable points of lay co-operation. 

. Means for securing personal interest in the pastoral work 
of the Church. 

Under this head I include a personal interest in pastoral 
work, not only as it relates to the benefit of the poor of 
the parish, or to the spiritual good of others, but also as 
regards the participation of the persons themselves in 
terested in the means of grace, and their progress in the 
spiritual life. Many parochial societies which had these 
two objects in view were founded at the end of the seven 
teenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, 
under the name of " Religious Societies," and were sanc 
tioned by Tillotson, Tenison, Beveridge, Stillingfleet, and 
other bishops of the day. They appear to have originated 
with Dr. Anthony Horneck, one of Queen Mary s chap 
lains, and a pious author of a once well-known and popular 
devotional work, " The Crucified Jesus ;" and they seem to 
have been absorbed by the early Methodist system, which 
professed and not insincerely to be a system within and 
not without the Church of England. But although these 
Religious Societies disappeared before the advance of 
Methodism, many clergymen have found it good for them 
selves and their parishioners to take them in some degree 
as the pattern of similar institutions, at much later periods. 
Among them Legh Richmond, who originated one in his 
parish, the objects of which were the promotion of habitual 
prayer, the exposition of Holy Scripture and the Prayer 
Book, the resolution of spiritual difficulties, and general 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 357 

consultation on religious matters. Similar parish societies 
have also been formed in various places in our own day ; 
and though, perhaps, they do not last many years, they do 
good while they last, and will bear revival in successive 
generations. They are, I suppose, in the Church, and 
partaking of a Church spirit, what " class meetings " are 
among the Methodists ; and it is well known how much 
strength is given by these to the Methodist system. 

Should it be thought advisable to attempt the formation 
of such a society in a parish, the first step will be for the 
clergyman to invite some of the more earnest and intel 
ligent communicants to a consultation ; and, pointing out 
to them the advantage to each of definite rule in religious 
practice, suggest to them that they should form an un 
ostentatious association for the purpose of forwarding in 
their own persons, and by their efforts with others, the 
glory of God. Attendance at Divine service, frequent 
communion, private prayer, the promotion of godliness in 
their own households (where they are heads of families), 
and some of the practical work which has been suggested 
in a previous chapter, may form the objects of such 
associations ; and instances have been known of a large 
increase of the number of communicants, with a general 
advance in the sense of religious responsibility, resulting 
from their formation. For rules, the following may be 
taken as a suggestion of the principal heads under which 
they would fall. 

1. The members of the society to aim at consistency 
in faith and practice, endeavouring to show a good ex 
ample of holy living in the Church of England. 



358 AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 

2. To become, if not already, frequent communicants. 

3. To support the services of the Church by personal 
attendance, joining in the responses and singing, and by 
promoting the same habits in their families. 

4. To give alms freely themselves; and to endeavour 
to relieve the clergy from pecuniary responsibilities for 
parochial work, by exciting a spirit of almsgiving in 
others. 

5. To remember in their private prayers such Church 
work as is commended to their attention. 

6. To assist the pastor of the parish in his pastoral 
work by whatever means they legitimately can do so. 

7. To make known, where they can unostentatiously 
do so, the true principles of the Church of England. 

8. While showing charity towards Dissenters in word 
and deed, not to flinch from an open profession of belief 
that the religion of the Church is the better way of ad 
vancing spiritual life. 

An association formed on such a plan, would offer to 
the clergyman a permanent nucleus of persons upon 
whom he could depend, for the furtherance of any good 
object ; and each of its members would regard himself 
as being in a certain degree responsible on behalf of the 
Church, for the works in which she is engaged. There 
need be no element of schism whatever in such a society ; 
but, rather, if it is begun in a loyal submission to the 
principles of the Church of England, it may prove a 
means of strengthening the love of those who already 
know her value, and arousing it in those who have never 
thoroughly learned it. 



AUXILIARY PAROCHIAL INSTITUTIONS. 359 

Such an association would in a great degree supersede 
the necessity of any other for Church work : but it may 
be pointed out, in conclusion, that every parish ought 
to have some organization for the purpose of assisting 
the various missionary labours of the Church among 
the heathen, and among the almost heathen of our own 
land ; and it is, in the opinion of many, a better plan 
to have a joint society for all such purposes, the funds of 
which are distributed to the various parent societies 
in definite proportions, than to break up the energies 
of collectors and others by covering ground in too great 
detail. 



CHAPTER XII. 

PARISH FESTIVALS. 

AN opinion has been gaining ground among the "clergy 
for some years, that parish festivities of one kind or 
another are an important item among the many sub 
ordinate means by which the attempt is being made to 
raise the standard of morality and good feeling among 
the lower classes. Of the general wish which all of us 
feel to draw on the labouring classes, whether in towns 
or villages, to a more rational and elevating kind of re 
creation than that in which they are accustomed to in 
dulge, I have already spoken ; but what I now wish 
chiefly to refer to are those special occasions when, with the 
rest of the world, as on a Princess of Wales s wedding- 
day, or for some local reason of rejoicing, work is put 
aside, and amusement becomes the business of the day. 
In large towns, where Crystal Palaces, People s Parks, 
and other wholesome places of recreation are within 
reach, the clergyman will have an easy task ; unless, in 
deed, it fall to his lot to be the actual and responsible 
conductor of an army of children and others on a day s 
excursion. Fresh air, flowers, tasteful sights, and good 



PARISH FESTIVALS. 361 

music, are all enemies of vice, and encouragers of self- 
restraint ; and there is a happy tendency towards the 
provision of innocent amusements out of town for town 
working-classes, for which the clergy may be very thank 
ful. 

In the country the case is different. Oc 
casions of general rejoicing are there usually fg^f 6 
limited to one week in the year, which is set 
apart time immemorial for a week of village excitement 
and feasting; and which, too often, is a week of con 
centrated immorality and riot. "Feast-week" is looked 
forward to for many days beforehand as the great holiday 
of the year ; and when it arrives, there is almost a total 
cessation of labour throughout the parish during the days 
which are set apart for its observance. The farmers are 
willing to be idle, and entertain friends from a distance. 
The labouring men and boys spend their mornings loung 
ing about the village in their Sunday clothes, looking 
extremely as if they were puzzling themselves what they 
shall do with their hands if they once take them out of 
their pockets. The children haunt stalls and tents where 
bad gingerbread and worse sweetmeats are vended by half- 
gipsy men and women ; or with the doubtful air of 
cautious purchasers consider on which of the multitu 
dinous flimsy and fragile toys offered to their admiring 
gaze they shall spend their saved- up pennies. "Wives 
and daughters are busy all the morning, making ready 
some extra delicacies for the mid-day meal, and preparing 
for the " tea," to which friends and neighbours are to be 
welcomed. 



362 PARISH FESTIVALS. 

All this is harmless enough; but when 
r evils. d raws on things assume a very 



different aspect to the eye of the clergyman or of any 
other acute observer. The elder labourers early in the 
afternoon grow tired of keeping their hands in their 
pockets, and stroll into the public-houses ; the younger 
men begin to haunt the dancing-booths, and it is not long 
before they are joined by partners of the other sex, a 
certain proportion of the latter being avowed harlots from 
the neighbouring town or other villages. The temptation 
to a merry dance is so great that only the very best young 
women in the village can resist it, though many who enter 
the booths would be ashamed at other times to be seen in 
such company as is sure to be present. These dancing- 
booths are generally set up in the back yard of a public- 
house or beer-shop, the owner of it often paying the owner 
of the booth for the presence of the latter on his premises, 
and making his profit out of the refreshments consumed 
by the dancers. The owner of the booth himself, with his 
staff of musicians, takes rank among the lowest scum of 
those who live by itinerant pursuits ; and the more profli 
gacy there is attracted by his booth the better is he satisfied, 
as his own chance of profit will thus be raised. No young 
women can enter these dancing-booths at the village feast 
without permanent damage to their modesty ; and few 
leave them without that damage having proceeded so far 
as to lead to immediate or very early seduction ; the danger 
being all the greater, because it is not so obvious to 
young people always eager for a dance as to the looker-on, 
who feels none of its attractions. Meanwhile, the ordinary 



PARISH FESTIVALS. 363 

round of a beer-shop evening is being reproduced for the 
thousandth time in each labourer s experience, with a 
threefold exaggeration of its ordinary stupidity and sen 
suality. Of conviviality, in any sense understood by 
higher classes of society, there is none. The temptations 
of a village tap-room at feast time, as at other seasons, 
consist simply in beer-drinking and the pleasure of being 
in the company of other men. There is an occasional 
song, almost always of a brutal and indecent character, 
but seldom sung through to the end, or with any spirit. 
There is also an abundance of boisterous clamour, in which 
no one cares what any one else is saying, or knows exactly 
what he is saying himself, and in which there is not the 
slightest attempt at that relation between one person s words 
and the words of another which is necessary to constitute 
conversation, even agricultural conversation. After many 
hours of such purposeless drinking and clamour, the whole 
assembly is probably turned out of doors by the keeper of 
the public-house, and all wend their way as they can home 
wards, some wholly, all in a great degree, intoxicated. 

Such is the village feast, or fair, as at present 
known in every English county, a time of 
almost unredeemed profligacy and drunken 
ness. And being what it is, no wonder that the clergy 
should be endeavouring to provide some substitute for it, 
which, by superior attractions, shall wean away the 
labouring population, old and young, from scenes pro 
ductive of so much moral damage, and of so little rational 
recreation. 

" The real remedy," says a writer, or rather a preacher 



364 PARISH FESTIVALS. 

at the Bishop of Ely s Visitation in 1858 1 , " seems to lie 
in the restoration of the feast to its old purpose. The reli 
gious element is dying out, if not dead ; let us seek to 
pour fresh life into it. The social element is degraded ; 
let us seek to raise it. Religiously, our method of action 
will differ with the differing circumstances of our parishes ; 
but, speaking generally, it seems that if the minds of the 
people are full of the subject for weeks before, then the 
teaching for those weeks should bear upon it, directly or 
indirectly. If the hearts of the congregation are occupied 
with a thought, it is the simplest rule of effective preach 
ing that our words should speak to it, instead of beating 
the air. A pastoral letter, very plainly written, dealing 
in local allusions and the actual condition of the parish, 
would be read and talked about. The better mind of the 
people should be appealed to, the young warned, the 
earnest encouraged, the communicants exhorted to give 
special prayer for a better observance of the feast; and 
upon the Sunday before, and at a special service upon the 
day itself, there might be pointed, telling sermons, to show 
the blessings or evils which must result from its being well 
or badly kept. 

" As to the social or secular element, it would clearly be 
unwise and wrong merely to abolish low pleasures, (even 
were this possible,) without sanctioning or providing 

better. 

***** 

" There is a natural desire for the recreation of body 

1 Archdeacon Thomas, then Rector of Millbrook, Beds, and Priest in Ordi 
nary to Her Majesty. See "How shall the Parish Feast be dealt with?" 
John Henry and James Parker. 1858. 



PARISH FESTIVALS. 365 

and mind which it is our work to try and keep healthy. 
"We protest against the coarseness and riot of the dancing- 
booth ; then we must afford a substitute, something purer 
and better. We must rejoice to see our people employed 
in innocent amusements of any kind. On one night of 
the feast, some simple schoolroom entertainment would 
present an attraction which would keep many from the 
public-houses. And by our interest in the family gather 
ings, of which some of our own old school-children would 
form part, by an evident desire for the real happiness of 
our people, and by earnest sympathy with them, we might 
show in time that we were only anxious that they should 
thoroughly enjoy themselves." 

Harvest time, again, is another season when 
the influence of the clergyman may be brought bomesT* 
usefully to bear upon the habits of country 
people. A Thanksgiving Service after harvest seems so 
natural a thing for the clergyman to propose to his 
parishioners, that none will certainly take offence, though 
many may think it unnecessary. And if the service is 
introduced, it may gradually be made the centre of a 
better system of harvest home than that which has, until 
lately, been so common, and which was mixed up with 
many of the evils already referred to as characteristic of 
the parish feast. What is to be said on these has been so 
well said by a lady friend, in whose experience of the 
festival mentioned I had some share, that I shall quote 
her words at length. 

" Modern harvest-feasts are conducted upon much the 
same plan every where, and have much the same programme 
of events, so that perhaps a short account of one at which 



366 PARISH FESTIVALS. 

I was present a few weeks ago will be a fair specimen of 
what they are in general. On the occasion of which I 
speak, the weather was brilliant, and the sun shone 
brightly over a long procession as it wound round the 
green at half-past one towards the church, with a small 
brass band in attendance. The churchwardens walked in 
front with their wands of office, surmounted by bunches of 
flowers and ears of corn : then came one of the oldest 
labourers in the village, carrying a sheaf, decorated with 
ribbons, flowers, and a sickle ; whilst close behind followed 
two reapers, bearing a banner wi^h the text, Let us come 
into His presence with thanksgiving ; the mass of 
labourers and villagers bringing up the rear. A halt was 
made at the churchyard gate, and a party of surpliced 
clergy came down the church- walk to meet them, heading 
the procession as the whole body passed slowly up to the 
church chanting the sixty-seventh Psalm. I mention the 
procession thus minutely, because many of the villagers 
expressed themselves so pleased with it, indeed they 
didn t know but what they liked that as well as any thing 
the whole day. The church was beautifully decorated 
with corn, evergreens and flowers, and the triumphal 
sheaf was raised aloft at the end of the nave. All seemed 
to join heartily in the service, and the hymns rung through 
the old building as if the congregation sang heartily and 
with a good courage. After service all the male portion 
of the congregation gathered in the park, where a tent 
formed of rick-cloths had been pitched overnight, and 
tables spread, with pots of bright flowers, all down the 
centre. When the huge masses of beef and mutton had 
been demolished, twenty plum-puddings were brought in 



PARISH FESTIVALS. 367 

procession down the avenue by as many ladies, preceded 
by the band, loud and hearty cheers greeting their arrival. 
Speeches and toasts followed the dinner, and then games 
of all sorts were set on foot, cricket, football, quoits, racing, 
and hurdle-jumping, whilst tea was laid for any one, man, 
woman, or child, who chose to take it. After tea there 
commenced a vigorous dance round the sheaf; it consisted 
for the most part of the energetic swinging backwards and 
forwards of two rings, an inner and an outer one, the 
couples occasionally separating and skipping about to their 
partners, much to the edification of lookers-on. Dancing 
was stopped by the fireworks, which as the evening grew 
dark began to blaze away in quick succession, and as the last 
went up the band broke out into * God save the Queen. " 

There is no doubt that such an entertainment has the 
effect of bringing home to the labouring population the 
connexion between religion and their daily work ; and that 
the prominent position of the Church service of Thanks 
giving happily draws out that hidden instinct of love for 
the good old paths which lies hid in the breast of almost 
every Englishman. In originating it the clergyman will 
find it necessary to use tact with both farmers and 
labourers, for both are very conservative in their habits, 
and disposed to look upon innovations as necessarily bad. 
Experience of one or two well-conducted harvest homes 
will bring them both round to his side, and therefore he 
must do his best to study the circumstances of his parish 
from the farmers and labourers point of view, that he may 
make the attempt successful. The farmers have to be 
persuaded that the half-crown they usually give to each of 
their harvest labourers for a supper, will be as well dis- 



368 PARISH FESTIVALS. 

posed of if all the money is clubbed together, and ex 
pended by a committee with the parson at its head : the 
labourers that they will not be stinted in beer, even 
though a law of the Medes and Persians is passed that 
no drunkenness shall be allowed J . 

There will be something of an incredulous smile, at first, 
at the mention of a Thanksgiving Service, for to those 
actually engaged in the cultivation of the soil, crops are 
almost as much looked on in the light of a manufactured 
product as cotton yarn is. But these little obstacles must 
not dishearten the clergyman, when so really good an object 
is in view ; and he may encourage himself with the recollec 
tion that in some parts of the country the happiest results 
have attended the efforts of the clergy in this direction 3 . 
Another kind of festivities in which the 

school 

treats and clergyman is expected to take an active in- 

tea-drink- 

ings. terest, and probably an active personal share, 

are the school treats which have now gained 
so firm an establishment in all parts of the country. 
They were first introduced on a large scale by the Dis 
senters, and afterwards became much developed in the 
hands of the Temperance societies : from these they have 
spread largely to Church schools, and are extremely 
popular both with the children and the parents. 

There is not much to be said on the subject which will 
not be familiar to most of my readers ; but I would draw 
attention to two points which seem to me of some import- 

2 In practice, it is best to trust to the influence of public opinion, repre 
sented by the squire, the clergyman and others, and not limit the quantity 
of beer served out, but only the number of barrels provided. 

3 See Appendix G. for an excellent Pastoral Letter on the subject of 
a harvest festival. 



PARISH FESTIVALS. 369 

ance in connexion with school treats. The first is refine 
ment, and the second, economy. It is a not uncommon 
practice to give children their tea as if the whole and sole 
object of the treat were to drench them with that fluid f 
and to stuff them with unlimited cake in the easiest and 
most rapid manner possible. I have found it a real advan 
tage to act on the plans of those who think that oppor 
tunity should be taken of training the children, if only for 
an hour, in more refined ways ; and that it is better to 
pitch the standard of the entertainment somewhat above 
the level of their usual home life. Accordingly, the 
entertainers should dispense with the odious custom of 
obliging each poor child to burden itself with a mug, and 
provide a sufficiency of cups and saucers with their neces 
sary appliances. The tables should be covered with white 
cloth so many yards of calico, if a very large quantity is 
required ; and every thing placed a little above the ordi 
nary experiences of those who are enjoying the feast, by 
means of tasteful decorations, especially of fruit and 
flowers. 

With respect to economy, it may be observed that it is 
a somewhat expensive thing to entertain some hundreds of 
children, that it is often desirable to do this several times 
in the year, and that an economical plan is essential to 
many a clergyman when he is the entertainer. Although 
it may seem a little odd in a book of this kind, I will 
therefore insert here an estimate for entertaining two 
hundred children, grounded on experience of many such 
" treats," and put together under feminine superintend 
ence. 

B b 
* 



370 



PARISH FESTIVALS. 



Estimate for a School Treat to 200 Children. 



100 pounds Cake 




1 5 





1J pound Tea . 




6 





10 pounds Sugar 




5 





1 Bushel Apples 4 




5 





\ box Oranges 4 




15 





4 pounds Sweetmeats 5 




3 


4 


Bread and Butter 




3 


8 


2 Women for help 




3 









3 6 






The lady who is my authority in this matter adds, that as 
she once heard a young country clergyman order the 
whole contents of an Oxford pastrycook s shop to be sent 
to him for his next day s school treat, she thinks it will be 
expedient to add her recipe for the wholesome, and yet 
excellent cake, which is thus estimated at the rate of 
threepence a pound. Here it is. 

Recipe for School Cake, 100 Pounds. 



3 stones Flour . 

3 pounds Butter 

3 pounds Lard . 

6 pounds Baisins 

10 pounds Currants 

9 pounds Moist Sugar 

1 ounce Spice . 

1 pound Candied Peel 

1| gallon Milk . 

Yeast .... 

1 gallon Water 

Woman for making and baking 



5 6 

3 6 

1 6 

2 6 

3 4 
3 4i 

2J 

1 3 

1 
10 


2 

1 5 



4 To be scrambled for, or otherwise disposed of, after they have served 
their purpose of decorating the tables during tea. 

5 To be made up in packets as bonbons, and given to the little ones. 



PARISH FESTIVALS. 371 

If school treats are frequent, or if other entertainments 
of a similar kind to the women of the parish seem ad 
visable, it will be better to provide, once for all, a good 
set of tables, made of three half-inch planks fastened 
together by cross pieces, and ten or twelve feet long, with 
five tressels for every two such tables, and a contrivance 
for fastening them together, such as is used for the 
"leaves" of dining- tables. A quantity of white calico 
should be provided, sufficient to cover these ; as many 
cheap cups and saucers as may ordinarily be required, 
with a few plates for fruit and cake ; and several urns of 
tin, by no means expensive to buy, to complete the " tea 
equipage." "With such a stock of apparatus, stowed away 
in the school-room, or in the parsonage, even a bachelor 
clergyman may boldly face the prospect of several happy 
" tea-fights " in the year, taken in the school-room or on 
the parsonage grass-plat, without any danger of mishap 
or inconvenience, such as not unfrequently happens to 
unmethodical people. 



Bb2 



CHAPTER XIII. 

MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

AFTER all the ordinary duties of a clergyman have been 
reviewed, and all his ordinary responsibilities counted up, 
there yet remain some which belong especially to an age 
of Church revival like our own, and which can hardly be 
allowed to be passed over. His parishioners will naturally 
look to him as their leader, and in some degree their 
guide in all matters connected with the house of God : and 
it is so constantly in his view, that he may be expected to 
be more familiar with its capabilities and requirements 
than any one else ; to say nothing of the actual legal 
responsibility which devolves upon him. To some of such 
miscellaneous work I will call attention in this concluding 
chapter. 

. Church Restoration. 

There are still so great a number of churches suffering 
from the effects of neglect, selfishness, and ignorance of 
Church of England principles, that there will be many 
clergymen for the next generation or two upon whom some 
duties will devolve with reference to their restoration. It is 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 373 

true that such work properly belongs to an architect, but it is 
also true that much of the "restoration" required is of a kind 
which requires rather taste, judgment, feeling, and ritual 
knowledge, than the special qualifications of a professional 
architect : and that a well-informed country clergyman 
may guide a clever country builder or carpenter or black 
smith in the production of work quite equal to that of the 
original. 

The great caution necessary in such cases is, to know 
how far to go, and when the work imperatively requires 
professional superintendence. A clergyman ought to be a 
little of an architect as he is a little of a lawyer and a 
little of a doctor ; but as a little knowledge is proverbially 
a dangerous thing, he must keep his within safe bounds, 
and neither ruin his clients, poison his patients, nor spoil 
his church. And, whether he depends on his own re 
sources or not, he ought at least to know what is right and 
what is wrong in the general character of any work that 
is done in his church. 

In church restoration every one who looks 
upon it as an important and religious work 



will naturally set before himself certain broad church re 

storation. 
principles which are to rule the design and the 

execution. The true church architect in restoring or re 
generating the work of his predecessors takes a much 
more comprehensive view than that which would be taken 
by any of the classes ordinarily interested in the building. 
(1) He will seek to make the Lord s house sound and safe 
as a building; (2) he wishes to retain all that can be 



374 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

retained as a memorial of the skill, taste, and piety of 
those who have gone before him in the work ; (3) he 
desires that the church may be, in all matters that fall 
within his province, a pleasant place to those who frequent 
it ; and (4) above all, he strives to make it a place worthy 
of Him to whom it is dedicated ; that whether humble and 
poor, or rich and beautiful, it may be reverently fitted to 
be used to the glory of God. 

Very few clergymen are likely to be com 
petent to undertake the responsibility of fabric 
restoration to any great extent. Questions as to the safety or 
the reconstruction of roofs, aisles, towers, or chancels, should 
be submitted to a good architect, and the execution of 
repairs directed by him. I shall only venture, therefore, 
to give a few recommendations on this part of the subject. 
The first, that a local architect be engaged, if possible ; since 
he is more likely than one from a distance to understand the 
character of local architecture ; and also the local details and 
customs of the country respecting stone, timber, &c., which 
may be of importance as a matter of economy, and atten 
tion to which gives a certain " point " to the work. The 
second suggestion is, that substantial repair of the fabric 
ought to precede all permanent decoration where there 
are not funds to carry on both contemporaneously ; 
although, of course, many temporary and inexpensive 
arrangements may be made, if necessary, for the better 
performance of Divine service. Thirdly, it is well to be 
patient, and not to expect to get every thing done in our 
own time. Those who hurry over the work of church 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 375 

restoration are in some danger of doing a work in an 
inferior manner, which might have been done perfectly if 
small means had not been spread over so large a surface. 

In dealing with old churches it often becomes n 

Respect for 

an embarrassing question how far restoration work of pre- 
may be carried without disrespect to what is 
found existing. Antiquarians of an extreme school look 
with an unfavourable eye on all that goes beyond a 
mere provision for arresting decay, and stigmatize church 
restoration as church destruction. They will tell you, for 
example, that it is better to leave a decayed capital in its 
place if it will just do its work still, than to replace it by a 
new one ; or, again, that if it is absolutely unsafe not to 
replace it, you should leave the new stone an uncarved 
block if you cannot ascertain what was the design of the 
old one. Such crotchets are inconsistent with the principle 
that the church belongs to one generation as much as to 
another ; as also with the still higher one that it should 
ever be made worthy of being called the Lord s house. It 
may be well to wait till we can carve stone better, if we 
cannot yet carve it well enough ; but to place that which 
is positively ugly in a church when we can put that which 
is beautiful is a dishonour to God, and a very odd way of 
showing respect for the original architect of the church. 

Every church is manifestly intended for use. And as 
the pastor s office has a twofold relation towards God on 
the one hand, and men on the other, so also it is with the 
building in which he ministers. A constant respect for 
this principle will be a very useful guide towards solving 
in detail the problems that will arise in the course of 



376 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

church restoration. It is not necessary that every thing 
should look perfectly smooth and new, but it is desirable 
that nothing should look greatly mutilated, imperfect, or 
decayed. Many things also were done to churches in the 
last age, which kept very little in view their use either for 
the glory of God or the convenience of men. There are 
chancels in which costly marble tombs all but elbow the 
Lord s table and the clergy out of their place : and naves, 
again, in which they occupy to the supposed honour of the 
dead almost as much space as is left for the use of the 
living. No one likes to destroy such memorials, or to 
remove them from the church. The best thing to do with 
them would be to use them up in fitting adornment of the 
church, there being often much valuable marble employed 
in the construction of such monuments. If this cannot be 
done, and they cannot be removed to any more suitable 
position, the next best thing would be to give them 
honourable burial in the graves of the persons whom they 
commemorate. 

Setting aside all extraordinary cases, there is one broad 
principle on which a Christian antiquarian should act in 
church restoration ; and that is to preserve every thing 
that does not interfere with the stability of the fabric, the 
purposes of Divine worship, or the necessary accommoda 
tion of the congregation. 

The clergyman who takes a prominent part 
tio n ~ a in the restoration of a church ought to be very- 

careful in guarding against any appearance of 
mere self-gratification, or of doing it as a mere matter of 
"dilettantism." So little heart, so little self-devotion, so 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 377 

much self-will and personal fancy have been shown that a 
clergyman has laid himself open to the charge of pulling 
his church to pieces (to use an old man s quaint expres 
sion) "as a girl would her baby-house." Nothing is more 
to be reprobated than this obtrusion of self in the work of 
church restoration. Reverence, loving care for the honour 
of God, earnest reality, these are qualifications necessary 
for every true church restorer ; but for none more so than 
for that one who is the special guardian of the house of 
God. Dilettante church-restoring clergymen generally find 
bitterness, quarrelling, and disgust attend all their work. 
They are apt also to " restore " in such a way as to banish 
every shadow of interest, un spiritualize every artistic touch, 
and chill every ray of feeling. But those who show and 
prove that they have high motives for the work under 
taken, that their chief aim is to make the church worthy 
of Christ s presence ; who show that nothing is beneath 
their notice if it at all conduces to this object; that 
thought, reality, and religious fitness are the means by 
which they hope to promote the glory of God in church 
restoration; these will probably escape opposition alto 
gether, or else will very soon live it down : and it is not 
unlikely that their very opponents will be won over when 
they are found to be so true and earnest in their intentions. 

It is very important in re-arranging any 
church to secure the free use of the nave to The nave 
the congregation. The seats should be plain, g re gation. 
and without doors. The less there is of any 
thing like appropriation of seats, the more will the church 
be used, especially by the poor. Chairs have been found 



378 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

to answer exceedingly well in some churches; and they 
are always useful in supplementing lessmoveable seats, for 
they offer the means of using the whole nave without 
cramming it with fixed seats in every corner, and contract 
ing the passages to an extreme of narrowness. Whatever 
seats are used, ample space should be provided for kneel 
ing (which will be about thirty-two inches from back to 
back), and kneeling cushions should be distributed in all 
the seats, if possible, these being much better than fixed 
boards, or than the old-fashioned high hassocks. The chief 
object in fitting up the nave of any church should be to 
afford the greatest possible facility to parishioners for 
coming to their church as their spiritual home ; and for 
carrying out when they are there those duties of praise, 
prayer, and silent attention which form their part in the 
Divine service of the Lord s house. 

Not less important is it that the chancel of 
The chancel ever y church should be appropriated to the 

for the mi 
nisters of purpose for which it is intended. Too fre- 

vice. quently it is used as a sort of hall or rectory 

pew, or for the crowding up of a Sunday school 
for which no other seats can be found through the working 
of the pew system in the nave. But any such use of tho 
chancel is inconsistent with the proper performance of 
Divine service and with the law of the Church of England. 
By that law, (recently affirmed by one of the Queen s 
judges,) the clergyman, whether Rector, Vicar, or Per 
petual Curate, has entire control of the chancel, and of 
every entrance into it, as the place appointed for him and 
for those who assist him in the performance of Divine 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 379 

service. It is, in fact, a great and very unpractical mis 
take to put a " reading-desk " in the nave, or to put the 
singers there either. The nave is built for the congrega 
tion, the chancel for those who lead the congregation in 
the service of Praise and Prayer, and for the celebration 
of the Holy Communion. The western part or choir is 
for the former purpose, the eastern or sacrarium for the 
latter ; and no arrangement is better suited than this for 
the service of the Church of England. The pastor who 
succeeds in restoring his chancel to its proper use will find 
himself well repaid for any difficulty or trouble he may 
have had to go through in effecting his object. For, in 
practice, nothing so elevates the tone of Divine worship, 
or draws the people on to a practical recognition of its 
true principles, as such a restoration. If it is desired to 
represent clearly to the eye that the church is primarily 
the house of the Lord, and not merely a meeting-house of 
men, it cannot be more effectually done ; nor is there any 
method of carrying out the services of Morning and 
Evening Prayer which is so rational, so convenient, or so 
in accordance with the spirit of the Church of England. 

Next to the questions of substantial repair, 

Decoration. 

and decorous arrangement, the reverent adorn 
ment of the Lord s house will be the most important 
and difficult subject for a church restorer s consideration. 
The artistic ornamentation of churches has made great 
progress within the last few years, and every year s ex 
perience is leading in the direction of improvement. In 
respect to it, more than to any other part of church 
restoration, therefore, we may be sure that it is well to be 



380 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

somewhat patient, and not to fill our sacred buildings with 
crude decorations that a future generation will look upon 
with just distaste and regret. 

Every church will require ornament in a greater or less 
degree, on the floor, the walls, the windows, and perhaps 
the roof; and a general principle for all such ornamenta 
tion is, that its richness and devotional character should 
increase as it approaches the chancel and the Lord s 
table, culminating at last in the immediate vicinity of 
the latter. A combination of marble and tiles upon the 
floors of churches, distemper colour on the roof, and fresco 
or mosaic on the walls, are doubtless what church re 
storers who carefully consider the progress of art in Eng 
land will aim at. Tiles and painted zinc plates upon the 
walls of any building are what they will scrupulously avoid, 
for nothing can look more vulgar and inartistic. Where 
really good wall decorations of a permanent character, 
(whether for the wall behind the Lord s table or elsewhere,) 
cannot be at present afforded, there is no better substitute 
than some of those textile fabrics which have been 
brought to so much perfection for the purpose of church 
hangings. They satisfy the eye, give a devotional ap 
pearance to a church or chancel wherever they are placed, 
and add much to the warmth and to the used or inhabited 
look which a church ought to wear. 

Let it be further suggested that in any such decorations 
it is desirable not to make a too free use of sacred sym 
bols, such as the monogram of our Lord s name, or the 
Cross. There are churches in which one is met by a 
repetition of such symbols that becomes quite irreverent : 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 381 

crosses to stand on, crosses to sit on, crosses to kneel on, 
crosses on the ends of benches and on the fronts of pulpits, 
crosses on the book-markers, crosses to hold the candles, 
or to burn the gas ; in short, every where, probably, but 
in the place where a devout eye would wish to see the 
sacred symbol prominent, where it would be most closely 
connected with the commemoration of our Lord s Passion. 
Let the cross, and all other sacred symbols, be used with 
feeling and devotion, and under such influence be placed 
in appropriate situations where they may convey a real 
meaning, and not be used as mere ornaments, as we 
might use the form of an ordinary leaf or flower. 

Stained glass must almost always be left in the hands 
of the artist, and it is therefore desirable to select one 
whose reverence and artistic judgment have been proved. 
It may, however, be suggested that a more thoughtful 
arrangement of subjects might often be adopted than that 
which we see in many churches. (1) In the east window 
we naturally place the Crucifixion, or the Ascension, as 
especially showing forth the atoning work of our blessed 
Lord. Even better subjects, where the window is large 
enough, are the two which more generally show forth the 
Incarnation, the " Jesse " and the " Te Deum " window. 
(2) In the other windows of the chancel the subjects 
should be drawn from the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Head of the Church in heaven and in earth. (3) In 
the nave we may appropriately use those subjects which 
set forth the glory of Christ in His Apostles and other 
Saints ; except for the west window, in which the Lord 
of Saints should again be pourtrayed as giving an unity to 



382 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

the whole design, and proclaiming His presence in the 
congregation as well as at the altar. 

Let none think that time and thought applied to such 
church restoration is time and thought wasted. Our 
churches are not less truly the place of God s presence 
than the temple and the tabernacle were ; and if the 
Lord was pleased to reveal a scheme of beauty in all its 
details for the latter, it cannot but be for His honour that 
we should endeavour to follow the Divine lead in His 
house of the more glorious dispensation, in which the 
shadows are changed to realities. 

. Organs. 

In the building and rebuilding, and in the restoration 
and re-arrangement of churches, there is almost always an 
"organ question" to be decided. At such times the 
clergyman of a parish ought to be able to take his part 
in the decision of the question, as one who knows what he 
is talking about, as well as one who officially is chiefly 
concerned. He should have made up his mind what 
an organ is required for, what are the general principles 
of its construction, and what application of those prin 
ciples will be most suitable to the particular case which 
he has in view, that of his own church. The instrument 
will also be an object of importance, and of some anxiety 
to him at all ordinary times ; and even if the question 
of a new organ should never come before him, it will 
be well for him to make himself acquainted with the 
instrument, that he may be able to exercise an intelligent 
control over its use in Divine service. 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 383 

The questions to be decided in setting up a new organ 
generally resolve themselves under the three heads of 
expense, fitness, and position. Without any very detailed 
knowledge of the instrument, a clergyman may generally 
make up his mind how to decide these for the best or 
at least the two latter on certain principles which are 
founded in common sense, and a perception of what is 
right and necessary for the purpose of Divine service. 
Organ builders and organists are sometimes apt, indeed, 
to "pooh, pooh, 3 the clergyman in organ matters as if he 
was going beyond the sphere of his authority and know 
ledge, by presuming to make his voice heard ; as if, in 
fact, the construction and use of the instrument were 
mysteries which none but themselves are competent to 
deal with. But though a clergyman may be able neither 
to build an organ, nor to perform upon it when built, 
his general authority over every thing that is to be done 
or used in Divine service imposes upon him the duty 
of supervising organs and organists as well as other 
things and persons ; and he may very easily acquire 
sufficient knowledge to carry out this duty faithfully 
and well. And, without imputing worse motives than 
those which ordinarily influence human nature, it may 
be mentioned that there are some reasons why both organ 
builders and organists should wish to keep matters en 
tirely in their own hands. It is the interest of the builder 
to make his instruments as profitable as he can to him 
self ; and it is a custom of the trade to allow ten per cent, 
commission to all organists who bring grist to the organ 
builder s mill, by transmitting orders for instruments. 



384 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

It is only lately, and even now only with the higher class 
of builders, that these reasons have ceased to operate 
against those interests respecting which the clergyman 
will have the chief anxiety, the interests of the church 
and of the service which are entrusted to his care. In 
dependently of self-interested motives, both builders and 
organists, if unchecked by a resolute and intelligent en 
forcement of religious, architectural, and financial con 
siderations, are naturally prone to provide exaggerated 
capabilities for musical display. 

In laying down a plan for an organ, then, care 
should be taken that money is expended only on such 
things as will make the instrument most effective for its 
object. 

(1) No expensive mechanism, such as pneumatic action, 
should be allowed unless there is an unlimited supply 
of funds for the original outlay, and a good income to 
fall back upon for repairs. Some organs cost as much 
annually in repairs as would suffice to provide another 
curate for the church in which they are placed. 

(2) In the choice of stops there should be 110 super 
abundance of reeds and " fancy " stops to the deterioration 
of those which are really important and necessary to the 
solemnity and grandeur of tone, and which are therefore 
denominated "foundation" stops. Small stops are pro 
fitable to the organ builder ; they add easily to the num 
ber, and therefore to the apparent size and power of the 
organ ; and they offer a means for young ladies school- 
music-master organists to "show off;" all which reasons 
have too often influenced the character of church organs. 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 385 

It is much better to spend money in securing good metal 
and completeness for the open diapason, in which more 
than in any other single stop the real grandeur of the 
organ resides, than to spend it on vox humana, or any 
other elegant but comparatively trivial fancies. 

(3) If the organ is not large, it is unnecessary to have 
a swell ; which is, in fact, a second organ added at con 
siderable expense, and but seldom used in comparison 
with the great organ, or main body of the instrument. 

(4) The instrument should be true and honest in its 
structure. Its tone should not be sacrificed, (as it may 
be in no small degree,) to the aesthetic arrangement of 
the pipes. The latter should stand, as far as possible, 
"on their own wind," show their faces honestly, and 
form the essential part in the appearance of the instru 
ment. Pipes that are painted fine, but will not speak, 
should never on any account be allowed. 

(5) The chancel is undoubtedly the proper place for an 
organ. But whether there, in the nave, or in an organ- 
chamber, it should always be to the east of the con 
gregation, and where its sound will naturally mingle 
with that of the leading singers, that is, the official 
choir. 

(6) The organ and its case should form part of the 
church to the eye, and not an excrescence. It is even 
worth while to make some alteration in a church, when 
an organ is inserted, rather than fail to accomplish this 
most desirable end. If the instrument is placed in a 
separate organ-chamber, some of the pipes may be brought 
into an arch in the chancel, where they may be made 

c c 



386 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

an effective architectural feature in the church. On a 
large scale, the best example of such treatment is the 
beautiful organ in the unequalled choir of Ely Cathedral, 
which is placed partly in the triforium, and partly as a 
great corbel projecting from it. On a small scale, the 
same thing has been effected at St. Thomas s Church, 
Oxford, at Upton Scudamore and elsewhere, by hanging 
the organ against the wall. A reversed action is some 
times used, which places the organist in such a position 
that he ranges with the singers. If this can be well 
managed, it is a most excellent arrangement ; but it must 
not be forgotten that it complicates the machinery of 
the organ, makes the touch heavy, and increases the 
expense. 

(7) Care should be taken to secure as free access as 
possible to every part .of the instrument, and to make 
provision against damp. In a well-ventilated church 
(and the best mode of ventilating it is to use it daily) 
there is less danger of injury to an organ from damp 
than in one closely shut up ; but the presence of an in 
strument is one reason in addition to many others why a 
church should have a warming apparatus. 

(8) No clergyman should put a new organ in his church 
without first reading the Rev. John Baron s valuable 
book on the subject 1 . In this volume the construction 



1 Scudamore Organs ; or, Practical Hints respecting Organs for Village 
Churches and Small Chancels, on improved Principles. By Ilcv. John 
Baron, M.A., Rector of Upton Scudamore, Wilts. With Designs by G. 
E. Street, F.S.A., and Suggestive Ancient Examples. Bell and Daldy, 
London. 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 387 

of organs is made plain to the unmechanical reader, and 
most excellent advice is given with reference to the 
position which the instrument should occupy. Mr. Baron 
is the originator of a class of organs of a most efficient 
kind, which range in price from 261. to 100/., and of 
which some hundreds have been set up in village and 
small town churches by Mr. Willis and other organ 
builders. They have become well known as Scudamore 
Organs, taking that name from Mr. Baron s parish of 
Upton Scudamore, in the church of which parish the first 
of them was erected. 

In conclusion, let the clergyman be advised always to 
maintain his authority as director of Divine service in 
organ matters as in all else. Whether he makes a prac 
tice of personally appointing what is to be sung or not, 
all should be subject to his control, and done by his 
authority only. Printed forms, to be filled up for every 
Sunday, are very useful in preventing unpleasant cavils, 
especially if sets for a year are bound together in separate 
volumes for the clergyman and the organist, and referred 
to as the general authority for the purpose. Difficulties 
about the choice of tunes may also be overcome by the 
adoption of some standard book both for chants and 
hymns. At present we have nothing better than Hel- 
more s " Psalter and Canticles Noted " for the former ; 
while, for the latter, " Hymns Ancient and Modern " will 
probably be the best we shall have for this generation. 
But Ouseley s Psalter, and Mercer s Prayer Book and 
Psalter, may be more suitable in some churches ; and 
there are also Hymnals, published by the Christian 

cc 2 



388 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

Knowledge Society, and the Rev. R. R. Chope, which 
have the music and words on the same page, and are 
compiled with careful regard to the requirements of our 
Services. 

. Belfries, Bell-ringers, and Bells, 

There is many a fine peal of bells of which much less 
is made than might be, for the purpose which they ought 
to serve, through an idea which possesses many clergy 
men that bells and bell-ringing are mysteries into which 
they cannot hope to penetrate ; and that, however bad 
matters may be in connexion with them, they will only 
become worse by the clergyman s interference. A peal 
of bells is, however, a very important and valuable part 
of the ornamcnta of a church ; and it is so desirable that 
as much good should be got out of it as possible, (and, 
at the same time, as little evil,) that I have thought it 
useful to append a few suggestions on the subject. 

1. It should be remembered that the law 
control of gives to the clergyman the fullest powers he 
the clergy- can re q u i re> permissive and restrictive, as to 
the use of church bells. The right of entry to 
every part of the church is vested in the incumbent, and 
the keys of the church are delivered into his hands 
at his induction to show that they are under his exclusive 
charge by law. Ilence no person, not even the church 
wardens, can legally have access to the bells or touch the 
bell-ropes, except by his permission or authority. This 
fact imposes upon an incumbent the duty of knowing 
something about the belfry, the bells and the bell-ringers ; 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 389 

for, of course, he is ultimately responsible, in foro con- 
scicntice at least, for the use or abuse of the first two, 
and for the conduct or misconduct of the third as church 
servants. It may therefore be expedient for him to con 
sider whether he ought not to bring this legal right and 
duty clearly into view. 

The indecorum and profligacy which have been con 
nected with bell-ringing are notorious, and ought on no 
account to be tolerated by a faithful clergyman. But as 
an incumbent was lately dragged into the Court of Arches 
by the bell-ringers of the parish, (where his authority was 
however clearly set forth by the Judge 2 ,) it seems better 
that an opportunity should be taken of asserting this 
authority firmly, if necessary, and of showing all con 
cerned that it does, as I have said, impose a duty as well 
as a right upon the clergyman of the parish. 

It is alleged by antiquarians that the clergy 
used anciently to ring the church bells with run ~ wit ^. 
their own hands, that they afterwards em- ou * his . i 

authority. 
ployed poor persons out of charity as their 

substitutes, and that eventually regular ringers were ap 
pointed as permanent church servants. And as the 
primary purpose of church bells is that of giving warning 
of Divine service, it is clear that the ringing of them 
must, as every other arrangement connected with Divine 
service, be under the absolute and unfettered control 

2 The churchwardens, the parish clerk, and the ringers were ordered 
not to ring the bells in future without permission of the Vicar, and were 
condemned in the costs of the suit. Date of Dr. Lushington s decision, 
June 18, 1862. 



390 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

of the person on whom the responsibility of its perform 
ance devolves. That this is the principle of the law is 
shown by the few provisions which are made respecting 
bells. Upon the curate, that is the person having cure of 
souls, is imposed the duty of causing a bell to be tolled 
a convenient time before he begins Divine service, that 
the people may come to hear God s Word and to pray with 
him. Nor is any ringing to be permitted at any time 
without good cause allowed by the minister and the 
churchwardens 3 . Thus every incumbent is made respon 
sible for the proper use of the bells as he is for the proper 
use of the church ; a responsibility indicated by one of the 
ceremonies used at his induction, when he assumed the 
custody of the bells by tolling one of them, as he was 
vested with the freehold of the church and the right of 
entry by receiving the keys and locking himself within 
the building. 

2. There are two ways of sounding church 
modes of bells, chiming and ringing ; and it would be 



sounding we ^ f or everv clergyman to make himself 
familiar with the difference, and with the effect 
which each is likely to have upon the bells and the fabric 
with which they are connected. In chiming, the bell is 
swung on its axis to the extent of a little more than half 
its diameter, the clapper remaining nearly motionless 
until struck by the bell, when it rebounds against the side 
of the latter. In ringing, on the other hand, the bells are 
first of all inverted by a succession of swings, so as to be 

3 Concerning the Service of the Church. Canon 15. 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 391 

retained with their mouths upward; and then each is 
pulled down with sufficient force to make it oscillate into 
that inverted position again, the sound being produced by 
the violent contact of clapper and bell at the moment when 
the revolution is completed. 

From this description it will be seen that chiming is a 
simple and easy way of using church bells, while ringing 
requires great skill and considerable strength. The one 
causes hardly any noticeable vibration of the bell-chamber, 
while the other rocks every stone of it 4 . A little practice 
will enable any one to swing a large bell to and fro, as in 
chiming, without fatiguing exertion ; but to ring the same 
bell the ringer must have had much previous practice, 
must strip off his coat, and work at his ringing as a rower 
works at his oar. This hard work is obviously unseemly 
when the ringers stand on the floor of the church (as they 
ought) in the sight of a congregation assembling for 
Divine service ; it also tires the ringers, and indisposes 
them for coming into the church when service begins, and 
they are consequently apt to think that their part in 
Divine service is over when that of others is commencing. 
Nor must it be forgotten that the labour of bell-ringing 
is one chief cause of the drinking to which it leads, and 
which has long been one of the scandals of the belfry. 

For these reasons it is desirable that bells 

. Chimes best 
should always be chimed, not rung, for Divine for Divine 

service. And if ringing is thought expedient 

on festival occasions, it should end half an hour before 

4 If the bell frame touches the walls, this rocking does great injury to 
the fabric, and thus many churches have been damaged. 



392 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

service begins, the remainder of the time being occupied 
with chiming only. 

3. The clergyman should establish a good 

Rules for n -, f . 

belfry. set * rules lor the bell-ringers, taking care that 

they are really observed. With the permission 
of Archdeacon Bickersteth, I have reprinted at the end of 
this volume 5 a set of such rules published in his Charge to 
the Archdeaconry of Buckingham, in 1855. I have also 
another set, used in the parish of Clyst St. George, under 
the high authority of the Rev. H. T. Ellacombe ; and these 
go rather more into detail than Dr. Bickersteth s. 
Dan er f ^ -P n( lerous as bells are, they may be irre- 
injuring parably injured, almost as easily as if they 

bolls. 

were made of glass, by careless or injudicious 
treatment. It is said that the largest bell may be cracked 
by tying a piece of twine round its soundbow before it is 
rung. Whether this is so or not, it is certain that many 
large bells have been destroyed by an improper manner of 
tolling them for funerals. To spare their labour, and 
make this tolling or chiming more easy even than it is, 
sextons have been in the habit of twisting the bell- rope 
round the clapper, and thus pulling it instead of the bell. 
By this means a sharp blow has often cracked a fine tenor, 
and made it useless until recast at an expense of 60 /. or 
70/. Mr. Ellacombe has printed a list of sixteen tenor 
and several smaller bells so ruined in London alone within 
the last forty years. 
Chiming At the same time it is very desirable to chime 

the whole of the bells for Divine service when- 

8 Sec Appendix H. 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 393 

ever it is celebrated; and thus to make their sound 
most familiar to the people as summoning them to the 
worship of God. And as ringers are generally labour 
ing men, who can be in their places (as a rule) only on 
Sunday, some easy plan should be adopted by which choir 
boys or the elder children of the school may be safely 
entrusted with this duty. By far the best of all such plans 
is one which was devised by the Rev. H. T. Ellacombe so 
long ago as 1822, and set at work by him in the church of 
Bitton, Gloucestershire, where it is still in use. A descrip 
tion of this apparatus is given in the inventor s " Remarks 
on Belfries and Ringers, and Appendix on Chiming," and 
will also be found with the engraving, in the Ecclesio- 
logist, vol. xxv. p. 129. This apparatus may be fitted up 
at the cost of 11. for each bell; and when so fitted the 
whole peal of six or eight bells may be chimed with ease 
by a single person. The striking balls are so arranged 
that they do not in the least interfere with the ringing of 
the bells, and the chiming ropes may be brought on to the 
floor of the church even if the bells are rung from a bell- 
chamber higher up the tower. There are other plans for 
effecting the same object, but none of them are so perfect 
in their action as this. Nor indeed can any such apparatus 
produce the fine effect of the more legitimate swing of the 
bell itself. 

5. It is useful to make some definite distinc- 

. n i r. . Final five 

tion in the mode of chiming lor the five minutes minutes 

immediately preceding service ; and a good way 

of doing this is to use two bells only during that time. 



394 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

After this, fifty or sixty strokes may be given on the tenor 
bell by way of " grace " to late comers. 

. Churchyards. 

If the clergy of past days had taken more personal 
interest in the care of our churchyards, most of the abuses 
which led to their being taken out of the hands of the Church 
in so many places might have been prevented, for there is 
hardly any part of the consecrated enclosure over which 
they have always had so much authority. The evils of 
intra-mural burial have been extravagantly exaggerated B , 
but there were many indecencies to say nothing of irre 
verences committed by the sextons of the last age which 
could not have escaped the eye of a watchful clergyman, 
and which he ought to have put an end to as soon as they 
were discovered. As in so many other cases, neglect and 
indifference on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities 
brought on the interference of the civil power in matters 
that did not come naturally within their province; and 
the consequence has been that the burial of the dead has 
become dissociated from the place in which the living 
worship God in all large towns ; and has, under the 
cemetery system, lost much of the solemn meaning which 
the Church had attached to it in her office and customs. 
It would be well for the clergy who yet have churchyards 
left to them, to endeavour so to control their use, super- 

6 Archdeacon Hale showed this in a Charge which he delivered on the 
subject in 1855. It is entitled, " Intra-mural Burial in England not injurious 
to the public Health : its Abolition injurious to Religion and Morals." 
Riviugtons. London. 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 395 

intend their care, and connect them in the popular feeling 
with the worship carried on inside the church, that the 
divorce of the burial-ground from the place of Divine 
worship may be unwelcome to the popular mind, and only 
submitted to in cases of extreme necessity. 

Much may be done towards this end by encouraging a 
more religious and church-like system of funerals than 
that which has become common among us. As Christians 
sorrow not " as others which have no hope," so signs of 
hope should be mingled with those of mourning in all 
funeral arrangements, in the character of the service, and 
in the churchyard memorial. And yet it is singular to 
remember how utterly unhopeful except for the bare 
words of the service all the ceremonies connected with 
burial had become until the Church revival of our own 
day, and how much this is still the case in the majority of 
funerals 7 . 

Wherever the choral form of the Burial Service has 
been re-introduced, it has been found to make a very 
religious impression upon all concerned. It would not 
be difficult to use it nearly always in country parishes, 
omitting it only in those cases in which its omission was 
requested by the friends of the deceased, or when it was 
quite impossible (as it sometimes may be) to get the 
singers together ; and on special occasions it has been 

7 A curious illustration of this is given by the staves carried before the 
body, or held at the door of the dwelling-house. The normal form of these 
is that of a cross, over which a veil of crape is thrown as a sign of mourning ; 
but the upper limb of the cross has disappeared, and with it the significant 
symbol of trust in the Cross-bearer Who said, " I am the Resurrection and 
the Life." 



396 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

used with the best results in town cemeteries. En 
couragement should also be given to the reception of the 
Holy Communion by the mourners, either at the time 
of the funeral or on the Sunday following, for the pur 
pose of cementing between them and the departed that 
communion of saints in the visible and the invisible body 
of Christ, which forms so great and true a consolation to 
the mourner 8 . 

It would be well for the clergyman occasionally to 
notice whether proper attention is given by the sexton 
to the depth of the graves. The law, "Dust thou art, 
and unto dust shalt thou return," is not carried out in 
metaphor, but in the most literal fact ; and it is, perhaps, 
an illustration of this fact, or in natural agreement with 
it, that humus, or virgin earth, certainly and unfailingly 
arrests all exhalations from the body deposited in its 
embrace. Four feet of earth above the coffin will prevent 
any escape of such exhalations, not by mechanical pres 
sure, but by chemical process ; that which would of itself 
pass into the air becoming assimilated to, and entering 
into combination with the earth. This fact should be 
generally known, as the knowledge of it would often 
prevent or allay groundless fears as to the unwholesome- 
ness of churchyards. 

8 Having before mentioned the advantage of providing christening 
clothes for lending to the poor, I may ako here say that it has been found 
very useful to have a pall for their use at funerals. Two or three sizes 
should be provided, if possible, of such material as can be afforded. They 
should be of a violet colour rather than black ; and with a good deal of 
white in the decoration. If the cross is used, it is best introduced as a 
plain broad band of wliitc across the whole length and breadth of the 
pall. 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 397 

Still further to do away with any ghastliness about 
the sleeping-places of the faithful, some care should be 
bestowed upon the trimming of the grass, the planting 
and tending of flowers in moderation, and the suitable 
character of the gravestones and their inscriptions. In 
all these arrangements the clergyman has unlimited local 
authority; and by using that authority wisely he may 
establish the best feelings respecting their churchyard 
in the minds of his parishioners ; and help them, also, 
more closely to realize the words, " I believe in the resur 
rection of the body." 

. Sanitary suggestions. 

Some considerable help is expected from the clergy 
of these days by sanitary reformers. No one else sees 
so much of those who need admonition on matters con 
nected with it, except indeed the medical man of the 
district ; and it is a common assumption of English 
society, may it long continue to be so, and more justly 
so, that none have so much influence with the poor as 
the clergy. 

I would not have the pastor injure his influence by 
officiousness and meddling. The poor man s house is 
his castle as much as the rich man s, and the one is quite 
as tenacious of his right to do what he likes with himself 
and his belongings as the other. But there are many 
occasions on which the clergyman may well come for 
ward prominently as the advocate of plans for improving 
the dwellings of the poor, by promoting better drainage 
and water supply, and encouraging clean and healthy 



398 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

habits. Cleanliness is a great promoter of self-respect, 
and self-respect is the handmaid of religion. 

There is also a large border-land on which sanitary 
reform and moral reform stand together, especially in 
the matter of over-crowded dwellings, whether in town 
or country. Wherever, therefore, the clergyman can 
induce landlords to provide more cottage accommodation 
on their estates ; or capitalists to start " model " lodging- 
houses, they are doing an incalculably good work. 
Scarcely less so when Baths and Washhouses, Public 
Kitchens, and Dining Halls for labouring people are 
established by their means. Every thing, in fact, that 
the clergy can do to promote cleanliness and health they 
will find to clear the way wonderfully for moral refor 
mation and the practice of religion. If " cleanliness is 
next to goodliness " or beauty, it is not far off from 
godliness, seeing that it brings men nearer to the state 
of perfection in which He originally created them Who 
looked on His work, and " behold it was very good." 

. Money for Church purposes, 

Another of the responsibilities thrown upon the modern 
clergyman is that of getting money from his people for 
schools, church restorations, parish charities, the pay 
ment of the choir, missionary and other societies, and 
not unfrequently for the support of additional clergy. It 
is mostly a very difficult matter. The laity have not yet, 
as a body, been aroused to a sense of their responsibilities ; 
and while there will always be found a few who give 
liberally and willingly, the mass require a great deal 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 399 

of begging, and some excitement before they can be per 
suaded to give at all. At the same time the zeal of the 
clergy is leading them to try and meet the spiritual 
necessities of the times vigorously ; and their endeavours 
are attended by a large expenditure of money, in which 
their own contributions are often more conspicuous than 
those of the wealthy laity. 

I must leave it to others to suggest any royal road, 
if such should ever be discovered, for getting over our 
difficulties in this direction. The "voluntary system" 
is already carried out in the Church of England to a 
much greater extent than in any of the sects which boast 
so loudly on the subject ; but our necessities are becoming 
greater every year, and our financial plans seem very 
inadequate to meet them. There are, however, many 
hopeful signs ; and it may be observed that wherever 
the system of money-getting for Church purposes is 
organized on principles which are in general analogy 
to the Church system, there the greatest real success is 
met with. It should, therefore, be the effort of every 
clergyman to bring forward as strongly as he can, both 
by word and act, the principle that money given for 
Church purposes is money offered to God. I do not think 
it is superstitious to suppose that money so offered does 
really carry a blessing with it, and go farther than that 
which is given or taken merely as a matter of business ; 
for such certainly seems to be the teaching of Holy Scrip 
ture on the subject. 

To carry out this principle, then, (1) let all collections 
that are made in church be formally offered at the altar. 



400 MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 

Morning collections arc mostly made in the ordinary 
way of the Offertory as appointed for the Holy Com 
munion, but afternoon or evening collections are often 
carried straight to the vestry ; yet there is no good 
reason for this difference, except that the Offertory is 
the only mode of collecting money in church which is 
directly enjoined by the Prayer Book. Looking at the 
principle indicated by the Holy Communion Offertory, 
it seems right and proper that every collection should 
be laid upon the altar by the clergyman ; and that he 
should accompany the act with a short form of silent 
prayer, dedicating the money to God. After so doing, 
the collect, " Prevent us, Lord," preceding the blessing 
is very appropriate ; and its use after an act, instead of 
before, is in strict analogy with its position in the Ordi 
nation services. 

As far as is possible, all money to be used for Church 
purposes should be thus formally offered. A mental appro 
priation of it to God is no doubt made by many of the 
givers, but all the teaching of the Prayer Book leads us 
to expect that blessings follow upon formal ministerial 
acts, and that such an act will be a fitting complement to 
the private mental dedication. In cases, too, where no 
such mental dedication has been thought of, or where 
the money has been obtained by some means (such as 
bazaars) which cannot be called sinful, and yet are cer 
tainly not Church methods, a formal offering will go far 
towards purging it of its worldliness, and cleansing it 
for sacred use. In a commercial age like ours it is more 
necessary than ever to impress upon our people the no- 



MISCELLANEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES. 401 

cessity of ever having God to be with them in what 
they undertake for His service ; that their undertakings 
may not be the stretching forth of an unhallowed arm 
for the support of His ark, but orderly and faithful efforts 
made not for a right and holy purpose alone, but also in 
a right and holy manner. 



Dd 



APPENDIX. 



A. 

Assistant Curates. 

HAVING referred in the text to the difference of responsibility 
falling upon "beneficed and unbeneficed clergymen, I will add 
here a few particulars relative to the sudden and embarrassing 
increase of the latter in the position of assistant curates. 

From the time of the Reformation until that of William III., 
no clergyman was considered to have actual cure of souls ex 
cept by institution, although from mediseval times there were 
" annuals " and " parish priests " who acted as the deputies 
of corporate and individual rectors incapable of carrying out 
the duties of the benefices of which they held possession *. 
This is plainly shown so late as the time of Stillingfleet, who 
writes thus in his " Duties and Rights of the Parochial 

1 See Johnson s English Canons, ii. 40. Wilkins Concilia, i. 627. Statutes 
at large 4 Hen. IV. c. 12. Caxton s jEsop, date 1478; and a singular old 
book of not too nice reading, " Epistola de miseria curatorum," of about 
the same date, which contains curious illustrations of the life of the 
parochial clergy in mediaeval times. Appendix, p. 430, of Bishop Kennett s 
Parochial Antiquities of Ambrosden, it is stated that John de Capolla, an 
acolyte to the day of his death, was rector of that parish for 33 years, 
keeping a " Parish Priest " to do his work. 

Dd 2 



404 APPENDIX. 

Clergy:" " The care of souls committed to persons among us 
is not an absolute, indefinite, and unaccountable thing; but 
is limited as to place, persons, and duties, which are incumbent 
upon them. They are to teach the people committed to their 
charge ; by whom? by the bishop when he gives institution V 

In strict legal sense, an unbeneficed curate is still a spiritual 
person licensed by the bishop to attend the cure of souls in the 
absence of the person to whom it is formally committed. So 
in the 69th Canon, where punishment is decreed for deferring 
to christen children who are in danger, it is "provided, that 
where there is a curate, or a substitute, this constitution shall 
not extend to the parson or vicar himself, but to the curate 
or substitute present." From this it is plain that " where 
there is a curate," is equivalent to " where the parson or vicar 
is non-resident," and therefore cannot know that a dying child 
requires to be baptized. Of a similar bearing are some words in 
the 113th Canon. Acts of Parliament also, in which curates 
are mentioned, speak of them almost invariably in the same 
way ; and the extremely few indications of any thing like 
curates to resident rectors which they contain show that they 
have never come fully under legal cognizance. 

The fact is, that assistant curates to resident rectors or vicars 
scarcely existed before the last quarter of a century. Writing 
in 1833, the late Mr. Perceval, author of " The Apostolical 
Succession," says, " If on all these different grounds the ap 
pointment of assistant curates would be so desirable, why, it 

2 By 1 & 2 Gulielm. IV. c. 38, every church or chapel, to which an eccle 
siastical district is assigned, is to be taken as a perpetual curacy; and 
licence thereto is to operate as institution to a benefice, the clergyman 
so licensed having all the privileges of the beneficed clergy. The bishops 
of the day seem to have overlooked the fact, that institution gives a solemn 
mission to the souls of a special locality as well as a legal right to the 
endowments of the Church, or they would surely have established the 
epiritual analogy between rectors and perpetual curates as well as the 
temporal. 



APPENDIX. 405 

will naturally be asked, are they so seldom to be met with* ?" 
How seldom they were to be met with may be seen from a 
return, made by the Archbishops and Bishops to Parliament, 
of the Resident and Non-resident Clergy for the year 1831. In 
that year the number of benefices in England and Wales 
was 10,560, and they were provided for in the following man 
ner : 

Resident incumbents ...... 4649 

Non-resident ditto who did the duty of their parishes . 1684 

Non-resident ditto who did no duty in their parishes . 4227 
Curates (including 72 incumbents who were also 

licensed as curates) ...... 4373 

In some cases, no doubt, one curate took charge of two parishes 
of two non-resident incumbents ; but I think we must con 
clude from this return that the number of curates very nearly 
coincided with that of non-resident incumbents ; and that up to 
that time the modern system of assistant curates was not known 
out of London and other large cities. 

An Act of 1833, to abridge the holding of benefices in 
plurality, the foundation of the Pastoral Aid Society in 1836, 
and of the Society for providing Additional Curates in 1837, 
each had its influence in increasing the number of assistant 
curates; and the vigorous revival of pastoral work in subse 
quent years has so raised the number that it probably ap 
proaches 6000 at the time I am writing, and thus makes up at 
least a third of the whole body of the parochial clergy who are 
at work. 

It is a very serious consideration that this large body of 
clergy is now beginning to form a settled separate order from 
the beneficed clergy. A curacy used to be considered as an 
apprenticeship which led on to a benefice ; but there are now 

3 British Magazine, vol. iii. p. 176. 



406 APPENDIX. 

hundreds, and may ere long be thousands, of clergy who will 
have to work on into old age without being beneficed. Under 
such circumstances two evils seem to be springing up in the 
Church of England ; first, that a body of extremely poor clergy 
men has been formed, and their number added to with every 
increase of religious energy ; and, secondly, that the connexion 
between the people of our parishes and a large portion of the 
clergy is of a very slight and unspiritual nature so far as 
authoritative mission is concerned. The office of Assistant 
Curate has come upon us unawares ; and neither the legal nor 
the spiritual provisions in respect to it are of a character to 
bring it into analogy with the true system of the Church 
of England. 



B. 

For the remarks referred to, see Chapter XIII. on Miscel 
laneous llesponsibilities, pp. 388 394. 



c. 

The Influence of Ignorance on Christian Life. 

It is curious to observe how a loose sort of feeling has grown 
up during the last fifty years, that there can be very little 
religion in those who are unable to read the Bible ; and that 
education is, therefore, a necessary adjunct to godliness. The 
extent to which the feeling has spread may be seen by the 
common answer which poor people so often return to any 
pastoral inquiry about their religious habits, " I m no scholar;" 
as if the fact of their inability to read and write (which is 



APPENDIX. 407 

what they mean by the phrase) was an excuse for their neglect 
of God s worship and of personal piety. Another sign of the 
feeling may be noticed in the resort of ignorant persons to the 
meeting-house, under the notion that the Church service re 
quires more " scholarship " than they possess. 

No doubt this idea has been fostered by the extravagant 
exaggerations with which the benefits of education have been 
lauded. It has been spoken of from the pulpit and the plat 
form, and in the press, as if it were an end in itself instead 
of a means to an end. A young person capable of reading 
and writing has often been looked upon as, a priori, of higher 
moral and religious standing than one who could do neither ; 
while old-fashioned folks, who have occasionally maintained 
that reading and writing often lead the way to more harm than 
good, have been laughed down as if they were asserting that 
which is impossible. 

As this is a serious question for a clergyman who has to do 
with the very ignorant classes ; and as the spiritual value of 
education may be falsely estimated even among the most in 
tellectual, I venture to put together what seem to me to be the 
elements of a true judgment respecting it. 

1. From an historical point of view, it must be allowed that 
the ability to read has been confined to a very small portion of 
the Christian world. Our Lord s original followers were chosen 
from the illiterate class; and they who by their educational 
position would be esteemed the " foolish " of the world were 
enabled to " confound the wise " only by special supernatural 
gifts bestowed upon them expressly for ministerial purposes. 
The highly educated classes received Christianity slowly, and 
with difficulty ; and to the philosophical thinkers of the age it 
was mere " foolishness." And, although the poverty and igno 
rance of the early Christians has been spoken of in exaggerated 
language, (as if Christ s followers were exclusively those who 
had nothing to lose, and no reasoning powers to examine into 



408 APPENDIX. 

the truth of His religion,) yet there can be no doubt that the 
poor and illiterate Christians far exceeded in number those who 
were wealthy and well educated. It was so in that earliest age 
of Christianity, and it has been so ever since, at least until 
quite modern times ; for at no period has the reading class 
of people to say nothing of higher education been more than 
a minute fraction of the human race, or of the Christian com 
munity. 

Here then we are met by the broad historical fact, that God s 
good Providence has left many millions of souls to be saved by 
Christianity in some other way than by reading about Him and 
His truth. 

2. The Christian life is based rather on moral knowledge 
than on intellectual ; and this moral knowledge is derived in a 
large measure from the Christianized conscience, " the candle 
of the Lord," the " light that is in thee," of which our Lord 
Himself spoke. This light, if it " be not darkness," is a pure, 
bright, original sunshine which will guide a simple-minded 
ignorant Christian as well for his work and probation as it will 
the most intellectual and highly educated for his. And, al 
though it is true that a right faith presupposes knowledge 
derived from education, yet such knowledge may be acquired 
for all essential purposes by other means than reading books ; 
and is not, in fact, acquired from reading by one Christian in 
a hundred. The teaching of parents, the floating traditions of 
Christian society, the instruction given incidentally and directly 
by the public devotions of the Church, these have been the 
sources of Christian knowledge for the vast majority of Chris 
tians in all ages ; and, however Bibles may be cheapened, or 
good books and tracts distributed, the value of these oral in 
structions will never be superseded. 

3. The grace of God is, after all that can be said for ancillary 
aids, the great efficient cause of holiness. And although in 
tellect may be holily used even in its very highest developments, 



APPENDIX. 409 

yet there is clear evidence that in the Providential system 
which we call Christianity the grace of God is supremely effi 
cient without any aid whatever from intellect or education. 
Thus, Christian children dying without actual sin "are un 
doubtedly saved " hy the grace given to them in Baptism ; and 
no intellectual development could ever have led them to a 
higher place than that which is assigned to those who " are 
without fault before the throne of God," and who " follow the 
Lamb whithersoever He goeth." Nor, again, could any read 
ing, thought, or reasoning, ever add holiness to that which is to 
be gained by the perfectly unimpeded reception of the grace 
given in the Holy Communion. 

Grace being thus the great vital force of sanctity, inde 
pendently of all other minor and ancillary forces, there is 
no a priori reason why the most ignorant should not become 
as " great in the Kingdom of Heaven " as the most educated. 

4. Close spiritual communion with God is to be attained 
only by accessions of grace, whether by the educated or the 
ignorant. Such close communion is indeed associated with 
knowledge, but the knowledge is that intuition which gives 
its possessor power to " know the love of God which passeth 
knowledge ; " an intuition which is a link between the faith 
of our present and the vision of our future condition ; and of 
which our Lord said, " I thank Thee, Father, Lord of heaven 
and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise 
and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." And if, for 
a moment, the intellectual sense revolts from such a doctrine, 
let it be subdued by His subsequent words, " Even so, Father : 
for so it seemed good in Thy sight." 

From this sketch of an argument (in which I have pur 
posely omitted to mention the temptations opened out by edu 
cation), it may be seen that there is less to regret than is 
often represented in the want of elementary education ; and 
that its absence is far from being a necessary hindrance to 



410 APPENDIX. 

holiness. And if, in conclusion, we ask ourselves what course 
the pastor is to adopt with the ignorant classes that they may 
become holy, we shall probably come to the conclusion that 
teaching to read, even for the purpose of reading God s words 
in Holy Scripture, is not the most necessary work. He should 
rather, I think, open out to them the influence of God s grace, 
and show them how great a gain its unimpeded reception is to 
the Christian ; should persuade them to strictness in moral 
duties, constant attendance on the worship of God, and the 
frequent reception of the Holy Communion. Plain dogmatic 
teaching, and close pastoral guidance, may thus lead to heaven 
many an one who knew not one letter from another, but could 
see the road thither; whose reflective powers may have been 
of the lowest order, but who was a passive recipient of the 
saving grace of his Redeemer, and has been built up by it into 
the " stature of the fulness of Christ." 



D. 

Rules of the Oxford Churchmen s Union. 

I. The object of this Union is to promote the close and active 
co-operation of Clergy and Laity, by any of the following means, 
or others which may be conducive to the same end : 

By Meetings for conversation and mutual improvement. 

By circulating books and information on subjects of interest 
affecting the work and condition of the Church. 

By holding friendly intercourse with neighbours, with due 
reference to the parochial system, for the purpose of encou 
raging young men to take a personal interest in religion. 

By instructing the ignorant. 



APPENDIX. 411 

By taking steps to provide improved lodgings for artisans, 
labourers, or casual travellers. 

By Lectures, Readings, Singing Classes, and Musical Enter 
tainments. 

By providing places and means of recreation suitable to the 
seasons of the year. 

By providing refreshment-rooms for working men with a view 
to encourage temperate habits. 

II. The Union may lend its aid in forming separate Associa 
tions, either general or local, for any of the foregoing purposes. 

III. The Union shall consist of Members and Associates. 



MEMBEES. 

IV. Any Confirmed male member of the Church of England, 
who is wilhng in any way to work in association for the spiri 
tual or temporal good of his brethren, shall be eligible as a 
Member. 

V. The names and addresses of persons wishing to become 
Members shall be suspended on a board in the Koom, with the 
names of their proposers, for one week, and shall then be 
submitted to the next Meeting of the Council for admission 
or rejection. Parochial Clergymen shall be admitted, upon pay 
ment of a subscription, without ballot. 

VI. A Subscription of at least One Shilling Quarterly shall 
be required from each Member, and must be paid in advance. 

VII. All Subscriptions shall be considered as due at Christmas, 
Lady Day, Midsummer Day, and Michaelmas, yearly. 

VIII. The affairs of the Union shall be managed by a Council 
consisting of a President, Treasurer, and Twenty-two others, two 
of whom shall act as Secretaries ; of which number of twenty- 
two, one-half shall be Clergymen, eight at least being parochial 
Clergymen, and the other half Laymen ; five to be a Quorum, 



412 APPENDIX. 

IX. The Bishop of the Diocese for the time being shall, if he 
will accept the office, be Patron, and shall be entitled to preside 
at any Meetings of the Union or Council. 

X. The President shall always be a Clergyman in Priest s 
Orders. 

XI. The President and Treasurer and Council shall be elected 
by a majority of the whole of the Members present at a General 
Annual Meeting, of which ten days notice shall be given, and 
which shall be held on the second Monday in each year, unless 
the Council shall see fit in any year to name some other day in 
the month of January as more convenient. 

XII. Persons not being Communicants of the Church shall 
not be eligible to the Council. 

XIII. The President shall hold his office for one year, and 
the Treasurer and the rest of the Council for three years, one- 
third of the Council retiring every year ; but all Members of 
the Council shall be capable of re-election. 

XIV. Any vacancy in the Council occurring during the year 
may be filled up at any Ordinary or Special Meeting of the 
Union, ten days notice to be given. 

XV. The Council shall have power from time to time to make 
and rescind Bye-Laws for the management of their own and 
General Meetings, and for the establishment of Special Associa 
tions ; and to provide Rooms, Assistant Officers and Servants, 
and whatever may be necessary for carrying out the objects of 
the Union. 

XVI. The Council shall annually, at their first Meeting after 
the General Annual Meeting, appoint out of their own number 
two Secretaries for the year ensuing, one of whom shall be a 
Clerical and the other a Lay Member. 

XVII. The President, or in his absence, one of the Members 
of the Council to be named at the time, shall take the Chair at 
all Meetings of the Union or Council, and shall have a casting 
vote. 



APPENDIX. 413 

XVIII. All Bye-Laws which shall be made shall be com 
municated to the next General Meeting. 

XIX. A Statement of Accounts and a Report of the Proceed 
ings of the Union during each year, shall be submitted to the 
General Annual Meeting, as provided for in Rule XI. 

XX. The Secretaries shall summon Meetings both of the 
Council and Union, keep a Register of Members and Associates, 
keep Minutes of the Proceedings of all Meetings of the Council 
and the Union, prepare the Annual Report, and receive Subscrip 
tions, which shall be handed over to the Treasurer. 

XXI. The Treasurer shall keep the Accounts, which shall be 
open at all times to the inspection of Members of the Council, 
and prepare the Annual Statement. 

XXII. Special Meetings of the Union may be called by one 
of the Secretaries, or by any five Members ; seven days notice, 
in writing, of the Meeting and of the particular business being 
given. 

XXIII. No additions to, or alterations in, the Rules of the 
Union shall be made until they have been submitted to one 
Ordinary or Special Meeting of the Union and confirmed at a 
subsequent Meeting, a majority of votes being requisite for the 
adoption of such additions or alterations. 

ASSOCIATES. 

XXIV. The Council shall have power at their discretion, to 
enrol any persons as Associates, on the recommendation of a 
Member of the Union. Each Associate shall pay at least One 
Shilling quarterly in advance to the Funds of the Union, such 
Subscription to be collected by the Member recommending. 

XXV. Persons subscribing to any separate Association in 
connexion with this Union shall also be entitled to be enrolled 
as Associates. 

XXVI. Associates shall be entitled to attend ordinary or 
special meetings of the Union, without the power of voting or 



414 APPENDIX. 

being eligible to the Council ; and shall be admitted to the 
privileges of the Members subject to any regulations or Bye- 
Laws made by the Council or any General Meeting regarding 
them. 

XXVII. The Council shall have power to take such steps as 
shall be necessary for co-operating with the Church Institution 
or other Societies or Unions which may have kindred objects in 
view, subject to the approval of a General Meeting. 



BYE-LAWS FOR THE USE AJTD REGULATION OF THE ROOMS. 

I. That the Rooms be opened from Six p.m. till Ten p.m. 
every Evening during the Year (except Sundays, Good Friday, 
and Christmas Day), for Reading and Recreation. 

II. That the following Newspapers and Periodicals be taken 
in : Two copies of the Times, Evening Standard, Telegraph, 
Star, Illustrated News, Three Oxford Papers, Builder, and Guar 
dian. All the Year Round, Once a Week, Kingston s Magazine 
for Boys, Penny Post, Church Porch, Chambers s Journal, Punch, 
and British Workman. [Several Magazines and Newspapers 
are sent to the rooms by members.] 

III. That the following Games be allowed : Chess, Draughts, 
Backgammon, Dominoes, Solitaire, German Tactics, &c., as 
boards and the necessary materials can be supplied ; and that 
writing materials be kept in the Room for the use of Members. 

IV. That Singing and other Classes, and Lectures, be arranged 
by the Council from time to time as may be found desirable. 

V. That the Newspapers be sold by the Council when no 
longer wanted. 

VI. That all gambling and betting on any Games be strictly 
prohibited. 

VII. That no Smoking be allowed in the Rooms. 



APPENDIX. 415 

VIII. That the Rooms, with the books and other contents, 
shall be under the care of an Assistant Secretary. 

IX. That a Book be kept in the Room in which Suggestions 
may be made for the purchase of books, &c., and for the better 
carrying out the objects of the Union. 

X. That all Persons will be expected to recognize their respon 
sibility for the preservation from injury of the property of the 
Union, and for the maintenance of the Rules, and of order and 
decorum in the Rooms ; and that two Members weekly be 
Curators of the Rooms, whose special duty it shall be to be 
present alternately, or as they shall arrange during their week 
of office, and the Curator present shall have the control of all 
proceedings in the Rooms. 

XI. That any breach of Rules, or of order, or decorum, may 
be reported to the Council, who may admonish the offender, or 
in case of flagrant or repeated offences, may forbid him the use 
of the Rooms for a limited period, or expel him from the Union. 

[Lectures were given on a great variety of subjects in 1861 ; 
Six on Church History, several on Switzerland and Mountain 
Travel, on Light and Colour, the Elements of Drawing, Oxygen 
Gas, Algeria, How to keep out of the Doctor s hands, Photo 
graphy, Combustion, the early history of Oxford Castle, Structure 
of the Brain, Phrenology, Genius, several topographical lectures, 
and Christmas Customs. A concert, and a Christmas Eve of 
Carol- singing at the Town Hall, a Conversazione, and a Water 
Excursion, were also among the entertainments of the year.] 



Bane/or Lay Association. 

Some years ago, an Association of a somewhat similar kind 
was formed in Wales ; but with a more distinctively Lay cha 
racter. Of this also I annex some particulars, as illustrative of 
the subject of Lay Co-operation. 



416 APPENDIX. 



THE DESIGN 



CHUKCH LAY ASSOCIATION, 

IN THE 

DIOCESE OF BANGOR. 

The Design of the Society is, to infuse and encourage a spirit 
of activity amongst the Lay Members of the Church ; to call 
their attention to their important duties as such ; and to afford 
them opportunities of consultation, and of mutual exhortation in 
every good work. 

The Society in no way interferes with the system of the 
Church ; it has to do only with developing and applying that 
system more completely and generally. It entertains no ques 
tion of doctrine ; it regards not the various opinions that may 
exist among Churchmen ; it connects itself with no particular 
party in the Church ; it seeks not to know any one of its 
Members otherwise than as a sincere Churchman, and consistent 
Christian. Neither does it, as a Society, interfere with the 
internal government and discipline of the Church ; but exhorts 
its Members to co-operate with their Ministers in correcting 
whatever may deviate from order and propriety. 

It further exhorts its Members to assist the Clergy to the 
utmost of their power, and by every lawful means, in bringing 
about a practical revival in the Church, in setting the machinery 
in full motion ; and to endeavour, by influence and example, to 
regain to the Church of our fathers the exalted character and 
healthful influence which legitimately belong to her, and which 
also she did enjoy till the indifference and unfaithfulness of her 
Members, and other causes, deprived her of them. In every 
case, and under all circumstances, the Society recommends its 



APPENDIX. 417 

Members to proceed with all due respect and deference to every 
ecclesiastical authority and ordinance, and in friendly co-opera 
tion with their Ministers, without whom they should undertake 
to effect no parochial improvements. 

Above all, to see that their own life and conversation be always 
the best proof, to the world, of the genuineness of their Church- 
manship. 



THE EULES 



CHUECH LAY ASSOCIATION. 

Passed at the General Meeting of October 6th, 1853, and approved by the 

Clergy. 

I. That we, as Churchmen, look upon the Church of our 
Fathers, established in this country, as being in a state of inac 
tion and depression, attributable, in a great measure, to the 
negligence of its Lay Members. 

II. That we believe we have our part to take in effecting a 
revival within the Church. 

III. For which purpose we unite in an Association, whereby 
we may encourage fraternal sympathy, and have better oppor 
tunity to consult upon our duties, with a view to exercise our 
influence more effectively in our respective parishes for the good 
of the Church of Christ, in a spirit of Christian love. 

IV. That when Members wish to assist in effecting any 
improvements in their parishes, they are to act, not in the name 
of the Society, but independently, as Members of the Church, 
not as Members of the Society. 

V. That the Society be called the " CHUBCH LAY ASSOCIA- 

E e 



418 APPENDIX. 

TION," and that it consist of President, Vice-President, Com 
mittee, Treasurer, Secretary, and ordinary Members. 

VI. That the Committee consist of not more than ten, and 
not less than five Members from every Rural Deanery. 

VII. That all the Society s proceedings be conducted in strict 
conformity with the system of the Church ; and that it exists 
only while in union with the Church. 

VIII. That the Society be under the management of Lay 
Members of the Church ; under the patronage and support of 
the Clergy, whose co-operation and attendance at the Society s 
Meetings are desired. 

IX. That no question of doctrine be entertained or discussed 
by the Committee, or Members, in their Meetings. 

X. That every Communicant in the Church is entitled, as 
such, to be present at the Society s Meetings ; if a stranger, he 
must be introduced by a Member of the Committee, or a 
Representative, to whom he is known, or by the clergyman of 
his parish. 

XI. That no propositions be laid before the General Meetings, 
without first passing through Committee. If the proposer be an 
ordinary Member, his proposition must be placed in the hands of 
a Committee-man, to be laid before the same ; if the subject be 
entertained, the original proposer may lay it before the Meeting. 

XII. That no Reports of the General Meetings be sent to 
Newspapers, but through the Secretary. 

XIII. That every Parish Church select one or more to re 
present them in the Local Meeting ; and that every Local 
Meeting select a definite number of its Members to represent it 
at the General Meeting. 

XIV. That every Local Officer is a member of the General 
Committee, ex qfftcio. 



APPENDIX 419 



E. 

A Town Reading-room and Library. 

The following are regulations which have been in use for 
several years in a large town parish, and are found to answer. 

THE EEADCfGr-BOOM. 

I. The Reading-room is open every Evening from Seven till 
Ten, except Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday, and Ascension 
Day. 

II. Periodicals not to be lent out until bound up in volumes, 
then to be issued on the same terms as other works in the 
Library. 

III. No person to detain a Newspaper more than ten minutes 
after it has been asked for by another person. 

IV. It is hoped that order and quiet will prevail in the 
Library and Reading Rooms. Any case of conduct or conversa 
tion annoying to other readers, persisted in after notice from 
the Librarian, shall be brought before the Committee at their 
next meeting. 

V. No Member to detain a chess or draught board more than 
half an hour after it has been asked for by others, unless the 
game then being played be unfinished. 

THE LIBEAEY. 

VI. The Library to be open for the issue and return of books 
on the Evenings of Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Seven till 
Nine o clock ; and on Saturday Mornings from Eleven to One. 

VII. No Member to have more than one volume out at one 
time, unless permitted by the Committee ; and not to detain it 
beyond the time specified therein, under a penalty of Id. per 
day. If more than one person apply for the same book, the 

Ee2 



420 



APPENDIX. 



Librarian shall enter the names of the applicants in order and 
issue it to the first. 

VIII. If a book be damaged, the Committee shall determine 
the amount of damage which must be paid by the Member ; or 
if lost, to be replaced by the member who took it out. 

IX. Any disputes respecting the observance or breach of the 
above rules, to be referred to and settled by the Committee ; 
and if a Member refuses to abide by that decision, the Committee 
shall have power to remove his name from the list of members, 
without returning any part of his subscription. 

I also annex a Table showing the proportion in which the 
different classes of books were used in the same Library ; and 
which may be taken as a fair guide for the proportion in which 
they should be provided. 



Class. 




No. Vols. 


1-.^ ied 
during 
the year. 


I. 


Arts, Sciences, Trades, Manufactures 


54 


105 


II. 


Anatomy .... 


37 


16 


III. 


Biography 


194 


230 


IV. 


Dictionaries, Encyclopedias 


68 


18 


V. 


Education 


126 


19 


VI. 


Fiction, &c. 


120 


978 


VII. 


Geography 


293 


679 


VIII. 


Geometry 


54 


18 


IX. 


History .... 


321 


316 


X. 


Literature 


61 


86 


XI. 


Miscellaneous . 


82 


124 


XII. 


Natural History 


48 


57 


XIII. 


Periodicals 


186 


528 


XIV. 


Poetry, &c. 


67 


121 


XV. 


Political Economy 


63 


90 


XVI. 


Physical Science 


66 


55 


XVII. 


Theology .... 


360 


377 




Juvenile Library 


430 


2083 




Total . v 


2623 


5900 



APPENDIX. 421 

F. 

Plan for forming and carrying on a Village Lending Library. 

1. Provide three classes of Books : (A) Religious ; (B) Novels 
and Tales ; (C) Instructive. They should be covered with cloth 
paper, distinctly labelled with name and number on the back ; 
and the classes kept on separate shelves. 

2. Provide a Register and Catalogue. If the latter is printed, 
so much the better. The Register should be a volume of 
ledger size, and of about 600 or 800 pages, ruled for the purpose, 
thus : 

14 DATS. DAISY CHAIN. 127 



Borrower. 


Taken out. 


Returned. 


John Smith. 
Mary Reynolds. 


Oct. 10. 
Nov. 15. 


Oct. 21. 



By careful economy of the pages the number of the book and 
that of the register page may be kept identical for a long time ; 
and when the most frequently used pages are filled up, others 
should be pasted in at the same place. 

3. The Clergyman should occasionally examine the Catalogue 
and Register to see that they are properly kept up ; and all the 
books should be called in and inspected once or twice in the 
year. 

4. The following will be found to be useful working 

RULES. 

1. Each person using the Library is to pay sixpence a 
quarter in advance. 

2. Each subscriber may have out two volumes at a time, 
from different classes. 



422 APPENDIX. 

3. A book may only be kept for the time marked on the 
label. If wanted for a longer time, it must be brought to the 
Librarian to be registered again, provided it has not been 
bespoken by another subscriber. 

4. Any careless damage done to the books must be paid for, 
or the book bought by the person damaging it at a fair second 
hand price. 

5. All books are to be returned on January 1, and July 1, 
and the Library closed for a fortnight. 



G. 

Harvest Homes. 

By permission of the Rev. C. C. Beaty-Pownall, I reprint 
the handbill used for the Harvest Home which I have taken as 
a type of its class at p. 36G. In the following year the wet 
season had so injured the crops and delayed the harvest, that 
the Thanksgiving Service alone was used, without the festivi 
ties ; and on that occasion a pastoral letter was circulated in 
which the parishioners were urged to remember God s good 
ness to them even in an adverse season. But in 18G1 I 
was present at a very successful repetition of the festival of 
1859. 

It should also be stated that a Thanksgiving Service has 
been found to have a very excellent result in Town parishes. 
Some pains should be taken in appealing to the eye by means 
of decorations in corn, green leaves, and flowers. 



APPENDIX. 423 



MILTON ERNEST 

HARVEST HOME FESTIVAL. 



A SPECIAL SERVICE 

WILL BE HELD (GOD WILLING) 

n ris 



THANKSGIVING FOR THE HARVEST, 

ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER Q, 1859, 

AT 1.30 P.M., WHEN 

A SERMON WILL BE PREACHED 

BY THE 

REV. JOHN BURGON, M.A., 

FELLOW OP ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD, &C. 



Pray come every one in the Parish, and join in giving 
God thanks. 



DINNER WILL BE PROVIDED AT 3 P.M. IN THE PARK. 



ADMISSION TO TEA, &c., AT 4.30 P.M. 

* # * No one can be allowed to enter except through the Avenue 
Gates, and with a Ticket, which must be obtained from one of the 
Farmers or the Vicar, on or before Saturday, September 3rd. 



424 APPENDIX. 



Milton Ernest Vicarage, 
August 29th, 1859. 



"Mr DEAE PAEISHIONEES, 



It is generally known among you that it has 
been in contemplation for some time past to carry out a 
plan (which has been found to be successful in many other 
places) of celebrating in a more fitting way than heretofore, the 
gathering in of the Harvest. 

The plan is this, 1st. That on a certain day after the Harvest 
work is ended, all the Harvest men should Avalk in procession 
to their Parish Church for Afternoon Service, and that the 
whole Village should meet them there to offer praise and 
thanksgiving to the Giver of all Good for His mercy in bless 
ing us again with the fruits of the earth. 

2nd. That after Service all the Harvest men should sit down 
to a Dinner provided for them, and that their wives, and the 
boys who have been employed in the Harvest, should join 
them at Tea. 

3rd. That there should be a Band of Music ; also Cricket, 
Foot Ball, and other games, for those who may be disposed to 
take part in them. 

I am happy therefore to tell you, that this plan of keeping 
Harvest Home, is this year to be tried at Milton Ernest ; the 
Farmers and other employers have kindly taken an interest in 
the matter, and intend to provide a Dinner, Tea, and various 
methods of out-door Amusements, instead of money or a Har 
vest Supper. 

I am truly glad that the experiment is to be made, for should 
it succeed, (as I see no reason to doubt but it should,) there 
will be good reason why this may be made a yearly half-holiday, 
and a day of thanksgiving and rejoicing to our village. But, 



APPENDIX. 425 

my good friends, I must remind you that the success of the un 
dertaking mainly rests upon yourselves. 

If there be any excess, disorder, quarrelling, or unpleasant 
ness of any kind, the whole thing will and must fall to the 
ground. 

From what I know of most of you I do not anticipate any 
thing of the kind ; but at the same time I earnestly beg of 
you to join with the promoters of the festival in avoiding in 
yourselves and discouraging in others any such cause of com 
plaint ; both for the sake of your own comfort and enjoyment, 
and for the credit of our village. Let not your employers who 
have so kindly come forward on this occasion, be disappointed 
of their generous object, which is, (after the great one of offer 
ing God thanks,) that you, who have worked so hard, should 
have a holiday of real recreation, and of rational and innocent 
enjoyment. 

It may be as well, however, to state plainly, that as all who 
enter the Park will only be admitted there by the special per 
mission of the Squire, that permission will be at once withdrawn 
from any one who may by misconduct disturb the order and 
enjoyment of the party, and he will be at once removed. 

I trust confidently, however, that nothing of this kind will 
happen ; and that this may (should our lives be spared) be but 
the commencement of many such happy gatherings, where both 
Pastor and People, Master and Man, may yearly come to 
gether, united by common cause for thankfulness and joy, is 
the earnest wish of 

Your affectionate Friend and Pastor, 

C. C. BEATY-POWSTALL." 

At the end of this paper were printed the two hymns to be 
sung on the occasion. It need hardly be added that the ser 
vice was choral. 



426 APPENDIX. 

[It will be useful to mention here an excellent little pamphlet 
on the subject, printed since the foregoing was written. It is 
entitled, " Scheme for a Harvest Home ; with full Details as to 
management, quantities of provisions, estimated cost, and other 
useful suggestions and facts, universally applicable. By the 
Rector of Frittenden, Kent. Rivingtons, London and Oxford, 
1864." The information given is all based on experience.] 



H. 

Belfry Rules. 

The Belfry is a part of the Church, and is consecrated to 
the service of Almighty God. 

The bells are instruments of sacred music ; and should be 
to the parish at large, what the organ is to the congregation 
assembled in Church. They should tell forth the praises of 
God, and awaken solemn thoughts in the hearts of all who hear 
them. The office, therefore, of Ringer is a holy office, and 
should ever be performed in a reverent manner. 

RULES. 

I. There shall be [eight] stated ringers, and [four] pro 
bationary ringers. 

II. The stated and the probationary ringers shall be ap 
pointed by the Minister ; and no other persons shall assist in 
chiming or ringing at any time without his permission. 

III. All the regular chiming and ringing shall be done 
by the stated ringers, and all the profits shall be enjoyed by 
them. 

IV. No person, except the ringers, shall be allowed to be 
present during the ringing without leave of the Minister, and 



APPENDIX. 427 

the leader of the ringers shall be responsible for the church 
doors being locked during the ringing. 

V. No ale, beer, or liquor of any kind, shall on any pretence 
be brought into the church or churchyard. 

VI. If any ringer be guilty of drunkenness, swearing, 
habitual neglect of public "worship in church, or of any other 
immoral or irreligious conduct, he shall be dismissed. 

VII. The ringers are expected to attend at the chiming 
on all the Sundays, on Christmas Day, Good Friday, and Ascen 
sion Day, and at other times when their services may be re 
quired. They are also expected to ring on the mornings and 
evenings of Christmas Day, New Year s Day, Easter Day, and 
Ascension Day ; on Christmas Eve, and New Year s Eve ; and at 
such other times as the Minister and Churchwardens, with the 
concurrence of the ringers, may appoint. 

VIII. The salary of the ringers shall be 15s. each, to be 
due at Christmas; but from this sum is to be deducted the 
amount of such forfeits as each ringer may have incurred by 
omitting to attend. 

IX. This payment is to be instead of all allowances and 
gratuities from any persons whatsoever ; excepting only such 
presents as may be made to ringers at weddings, and on other 
occasions. 

X. The money so received shall on no account be spent in 
feasting or drinking, but shall be handed over to the Treasurer, 
to be distributed by him in equal proportions to the ringers, 
with their stated salaries, at the year s end. 

XI. The leader of the ringers is to attend punctually at 
the church to provide for the chiming, &c. ; to forfeit 6^. for 
every time of absence ; and to receive 5s. at the year s end over 
and above his salary for his extra trouble. 

XII. When a ringer from any cause is absent, his absence 
is to be noted in a book kept by the leader for that purpose ; 
and a deduction of 2 d. is to be made from his salary upon every 



428 APPENDIX. 

occasion of such absence. A probationary ringer may, how 
ever, supply the place of a stated ringer with the consent of 
the Minister. 

XIII. In case of any dispute arising amongst the ringers 
in reference to any matters connected with the belfry, a refer 
ence shall be made to the Minister, whose decision thereon 
shall be final. 

We, the undersigned, agree to the above rules, and pledge 
ourselves to a strict observance of them. 

[Here follow the names of the ringers.] 



I. 

Prayers for a Choir. 

The following is a copy of some Prayers which I had printed 
on cards about twelve years ago, and which have been used in 
several churches : 

^[ Before Service, or Practice, let the Singing-master [if the 
Clergyman is not present] say thus, all kneeling. 

Let us pray. 

Lord, have mercy upon us. 

Christ, have mercy upon us. 
Lord, have mercy upon us. 

Our Father, Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. 
Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done in earth, As it is in 
heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our 



APPENDIX. 429 

trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And 
lead us not into temptation : But deliver us from evil. Amen. 

Praise ye the Lord. 
The Lord s Name be praised. 

^[ Then is to le said this Canticle, all standing. 

Lord, who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle : or who shall rest 
upon Thy holy hill ? 

Even he that leadeth an uncorrupt life : and doeth the tiling 
that is right, and speaketh the truth from his heart. 

O praise the Lord, for it is a good thing to sing praises unto 
our God : yea, a joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful. 

Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house : they will be alway 
praising Thee. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy 
Ghost : 

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world 
without end. Amen. 

Let us pray. 

Lord, Who knowest the imperfection of all things that we 
do ; sanctify, we beseech Thee, both our hearts and bodies to 
Thy service, that we may engage in the work of Thy Sanctuary 
with reverence and godly fear ; and that our lips may offer unto 
Thee an acceptable sacrifice, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen. 

After Service, or Practising. 
Let us pray. 

Accept, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the hearty endeavours of 
us Thy humble servants to praise Thy Holy Name : and grant 



430 APPENDIX. 

that the work wherein we are engaged may, by Thy Grace, be 
made effectual to the advancement of our souls in Thy Faith, 
Fear, and Love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and 
the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. 
Amen. 



INDEX 



ABSOLUTION, a delegation of the 
Good Shepherd s authority and 
power, 35 ; of penitents, 232 ; in 
Visitation Office, 255 ; public 
sufficient for ordinary life, 264. 

Accuracy in teaching-, 44. 

Advice to be given on Christian 
Ethics, 250. 

Aged and infirm persons, visiting of, 
195. 

Analogy of physical life and grace 
of ordination, 29. 

Analyzing the belief of those in 
error, 240. 

Avafj-vrjcns, the Holy Communion 
an, 186. 

Approachableness, 75. 

Assistant Curates, 16. 403. 

Augustine, St., his estimate of pas 
toral labour, 23 ; his rule for 
preachers, 107. 

Austen, Mrs., on woman s work and 
training, 324. 

Bangor Lay Association, 415. 

Baptism, should be public, 160; 
private, 163; lay, 165; its rela 
tion to pastoral work, 171. 

Baptismal Regeneration to be taught 
by devotion rather than by con 
troversy, 162. 

Karon, Rev. John, on Organs, 386. 



Basire, Archdeacon of Durham, and 
daily service, 49. 

Bel and the Dragon, 59. 

Belfries and ringers under clergy 
man s control, 388. 

Bells, mode of using, 390; Rev. H. 
T. Ellacombe s mode of chiming, 
393. 

Best, Dr., on daily service, 51. 
Bible and Prayer Book classes, 248. 
j Bible Lesson, method of giving a, 
286. 

Bickersteth, Archdeacon, his rules 
for Belfries, 426. 

Bishops the centre of pastoral work, 
16. 69. 

Blunt, Professor, on study for ser 
mons, 115; on village preaching, 
144. 

Books for use in visiting, 198. 

Bull, Bishop, his opinions about 
clerical learning, 5; on hiding 
baptisms, 163. 

Burial Service, choral, 395. 

Butler, Bishop, on controversial 
preaching, 111. 

Bustling habits, 61. 73. 89. 

Canons, on clerical qualifications, 
5; private baptism, 164; confir 
mation, 174 ; Holy Communion, 
176 ; Visitation of Sick, 192. 220 ; 



432 



INDEX. 



discipline, 229; Dissent, 235; con 
fession, 257. 

Casuistry, 251. 

Catechism, a private manual on the, 
115. 179; its value for sermons, 
&c., 116, n. ; works on, 179, n. 

Catechizing, the use of, 97. 115. 
286 ; a preparation for confir 
mation, 179. 274. 279. 

Cathedrals, centres of Divine wor 
ship, 47. 187. 

Cautions, as to effect of authorita 
tive words, 31 ; teaching about 
sacerdotal authority and power, 
39; and fasting, 136; as to pri 
vate baptisms, 164 ; as to woman s 
work, 323. 

Census of parishioners, 225. 

Chalice, &c., for private celebra 
tions, 216. 

Chancel, use of the, 378 ; the place 
for organ, 385. 

Character, high standard required 
for clergy, 3 ; low standard of last 
century, 7. 

Xa/)o/cT?jp and x<*-P lff P-- given in or 
dination, 10. 13. 

Chiming for service, 392. 

Christening clothes, 173. 

Christian seasons, 135. 

Christian courtesy to be taught in 
schools, 290. 

Christology in sermons, 114; in all 
dealings with error, 239. 

Choirs, a means of moral discipline, 
321. 

Church, the chief national educa 
tor, 272. 

Institute, parochial, 353. 

schools not making Church 

people, 278. 

tone to be given to visitation 



of sick, 196 ; and to school work, 

278. 
Churchmen s Union, 355; rules of 

Oxford, 410. 
Churchwardens, 309. 
Churchyards, 394. 
Clergy, their place in society, 6. 80 ; 

separated from laity, 8. 
Clerical begging, 313. 



Cliqueism among the clergy, 62 ; in 
the parish, 89. 

Club, clothing and coal, 341; work 
ing men s, 349. 

Coleridge, Bishop, his gift of vessels 
for Private Communion, 219. 

Commemoration of departed, 188. 

Commentaries, 129. 

Communicants, young, 176. 184. 

Communion, the Holy, 186 ; private, 
198. 204. 214 ; vessels for private, 
216. 

Composition of Sermons, 128. 146. 

Confession, authority for use of pri 
vate, 254; by the dying, 203. 
207; sick penitents, 262 ; healthy 
penitents, 262; habitual use of, 
265. 

Confirmation, 173; prayer to be 
used by candidates, 180 ; questions 
for them, 181. 

Consolations of pastoral work, 24. 
208. 223. 232. 260. 

Cosin, Bishop, on daily service, 52. 

Curates, licensed, their commission, 
16; a modern institution, 404; 
not fully recognized by Church or 
State, 406. 

Cure of souls, apprenticeship for, 3 ; 
how given, 16 ; includes children, 
271 ; not given to unbeneficed 
clergy, 403. 

Daily services, 47 ; endowments for, 
51; solitary, not enjoined, 52; 
advantage of to pastor and people, 
53 ; objections to, 57. 

Death by violence, 205, n.; 260. 

Death-beds of religious Church peo 
ple, 202 ; religious Dissenters, 
204 ; irreligious persons, 205. 

Decoration of churches, permanent, 
381. 

Delegation of Christ s authority and 
power to pastors, 30. 

Difficulties of pastoral work, 24. 
72. 

Dining out, &c., 81. 

Discipline, pastoral, 229. 

Dissenters, visiting in sickness, 199. 
204 ; how they are made, 233 ; 



INDEX. 



433 



their preachers of low social 
status, 227 ; their baptisms, 168. 

Doctrine, instruction in necessary, 
96. Ill; method of, 114; rever 
ence in, 117. 

Doubters and free inquirers, 201. 244. 

Durham University training of 
preachers, 126. 

Duties of Christian life to be taught 
to children, 288. 

Education, clerical, 3. 

, clergymen agents for 

society, 27 ; pastoral duty respect 
ing, 273. 283 ; religious, 276. 

Ellacombe, Rev. H. T., on bells, 
393. 

Endowments, an accident of pastor s 
position, 69 ; yet a quid pro quo, 
70. 

Error, Church of England princi- ! 
pies about, 235; how to contend 
against, 238; traces of truth in, 
240; dissipated by full inquiry, 
245. 

Estimate of expense for school treat, 
370. 

Ethics, Christian, 117. 250. 

Evangelical party, their idea of 
preaching, 99; their use of con- 
fession, 253. 

Exactness in ministerial functions, 
42. 159. 215. 

Exhibition, a parochial, 353, n. 

Exhortation in Communion Service 
about confession, 256. 

Exposition in preaching, 109; at 
daily service, 58. 

Extempore preaching, 147. 

prayer, 205. 

Ferrar, his practice of daily service, 
49. 

Folio wings, 92. 

Fonts elbowed out of the wav, 162. 

Formality, 43. 94. 

Formation of social character, cleri 
cal influence towards, 289. 

Funeral pall for the poor, 396. 



Government Inspectors, 281. 



Grace of God given to pastors, 10; 
its necessity to be duly taught, 
45 ; its elevating power, 408 ; 
given to the ignorant, 409. 

Graves, depth of, important, 396. 

Grenville, Dean of Durham, 49. 

Gresley, Rev. W., on dangers at 
tending habitual private confes 
sion, 267, 268. 

Hagley Club, 350. 

Hale, Archdeacon, defence of In 
tramural burial, 394. 

Harvest homes, 365 ; pastoral letter 
for, 424. 

Henley, Mr., on religious education, 
276. 

Herbert, George, his use of daily 
service, 49. 56; on study, 114; 
on instructing the ignorant, 249 ; 
on casuistry, 251 ; on confession, 
262 ; his institution, 70. 

Hewitson, Archdeacon, on daily ser 
vice, 48. 

Holiness, personal, of pastors, 40. 
64. 

Homily of Repentance, on confession, 
258. 

Hooker, his opinions about the 
pastoral office, 9; and the words 
of ordination, 12 ; on the Puritan 
use of the phrase " Word of God," 
104. 

Hooper, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 
on daily service, 50. 

Howels, Rev. Win., and weekly 
communion, 189. 

Human nature, study of, 132. 

Ignorance, 96. 280; the parent of 
doubt and unbelief, 244; its in 
fluence on the Christian life, 406. 

Infant schools, a necessary evil, 
295; their legitimate use, 296; 
lady -teachers in, 296. 328. 

Infection, rules for guarding against, 
222. 

Instructions to Government In 
spectors, 282. 

Scripture Readers, 

318. 



434 



INDEX. 



Intellectual meditation, 131. 

James the First, Injunctions about 
afternoon sermons, 116, n. 

Jerome, St., his estimate of pastoral 
work, 24. 

Lany, Bishop of Ely, on daily ser 
vice, 49. 

Lapide, Cornelius a, 129. 

Law s picture of a holy pastor, 78. 

Lay Baptisms, 165. 

Laymen s work, in Evening schools, 
298 ; the " Times " on, 308, n. ; in 
gathering and dispensing Church 
funds, 313 ; in parish institutions, 
339 ; in training choirs, 321 ; in 
Lectures, 322; organization of, 
335 ; supervision of, 333. 

Lessons, desirable to on 1 it some, 59 ; 
varied combination of, with Psalms, 
&c., 54. 138. 

Lessons, school, on our Lord s Minis 
try, 284. 

Libraries, parochial, 348. 

Limitations respecting confession, 
263. 

" Local " preaching, 141. 

London, its daily services, 48. 50, n. ; 
vocabulary of its labouring classes, 
145. 

Loyalty, pledge of, by clergy, 5. 

Lyra, Nicolas de, 129. 

Manual for visitation of sick, 213. 
Map of parish, 225. 
Men the leaders of religious life, 91. 
Methodists, meeting the errors of, 

241. 
Mistakes about sacramental efficacy, 

35. 
Money for Church purposes, 315. 398. 

Naves of churches for congregations, 
377. 

Neglect of Church duties brings 
State legislation, 234. 

Newton, Kev. John, his use of con 
fession, 253. 

Nightingale, Miss, on woman s 
work, 325, n. 



Offertory, 316, n. ; 400. 
j Ordination, force of wordsused in, 1 1 ; 
qualifications required for, 2 ; obli. 
gations arising from, 8; powers 
bestowed by, 13 ; makes pastors 
agents of Christ, 23. 37 ; vow re 
specting parochial visitation, 193. 
224. 

Organs, 382. 

Over-work, 98. 

Oxford, Bishop of, on putting for 
ward claims to Apostolic authority, 
41 ; on Confirmation and first Com 
munion, 184. 

Paley, on clerical frequenters of beer- 
shops, 7 ; his moral theology, 120 ; 
recommends to steal five-sixths of 
one s sermons, 123, n. 

Parish room, 76. 248. 

Parochial system, 69. 

bequests, 311. 

visitation, 224. 

Partiality for particular kinds of 
persons or work, 89. 

Pastor, the Chief, His Example, 21. 
74; reliance on Him, 38. 68, in 
preaching, 155, in danger, 223. 

, Scriptural use of the name, 

17 ; seldom hi Prayer Book, 18 ; 
only once in New Testament for 
human pastors, 19 ; application of 
name to them justified, 19; as 
Christ s deputies, 20; the person 
to be sunk in the office, 32 ; should 
appreciate his authority and power, 
31. 34. 38. 

Pastoral letter on Harvest homes, 
424. 

Patrick, Bishop, his use of daily 
service, 49. 

Paul, St., his idea of the Christian 
ministry, 14 ; his high estimate of 
the preacher s office, 107. 

Penny Banks, 339. 

Perseverance, 46. 

Personality in preaching, 133. 

Plain preaching, 143. 

Poverty of clergymen, 86. 

Prayers, for confirmation candidates, 
180; for schools, 301; for infirm 



INDEX. 



435 



and aged persons, 197 ; for a choir, 
428. 

Prayer Book, on pastoral office, 12 ; 
on daily service, 47. 51. 

Preacher s mishaps, 124. 

Preaching, extreme opinions about, 
99; its place in the Church sys 
tem, 101 ; object of, 108. 

Pride of social position, evils of, 86. 

Priesthood, the Christian, a develop 
ment of the Levitical, 15. 

Principles of Lay co-operation, 307. 

Church restoration, 373. 

- Confession and Absolu 
tion, 250. 

Psalms, the use of in sermons, 109. 
139 ; for sick persons, 204. 

Public speaking, the art of, 149. 

Qualifications required in clergy, 2. 

Rabbinical prediction of Eucharist, 

15, n. 
Reading-room and library in towns, 

421. 
Religious instruction of children, 

278. 

Societies, 356. 

Residence, non-effective kind of, 71. 
Resident and non-resident clergy in 

1831, 405. 

Restitution, 207. 231. 
Restoration of churches, 373. 
Results of work, some certain, 25; 

why not much seen, 27. 
Reticence, necessity for in clergy, 

270. 

Rubric about confession, 254. 
Rudeness, its moral importance, 

291. 

Sacraments, what they are, 158. 

Sanderson, Bishop, anecdote of, 148 ; 
his cases of conscience, 252. 

Sanitary suggestions by the clergy, 
397. 

Schools, higher class, 273 ; endowed, 
274; parish, 275; infant, 294; 
evening, 298 ; Sunday, 301 ; at 
daily service, 279 ; how much to 
be visited, 289; attendance card, 



292 ; treats and tea-drinkings. 368 ; 
prayers for, 304. 

Schoolmasters, to co-operate with 
clergy, 283 ; and with volunteer 
teachers, 329. 

Scott and Simeon, their use of con 
fession, 253. 

Scripture, Holy, satanic apph cations, 
36 ; telling use of, 142 ; our Lord s 
use of, 238. 288 ; children should 
learn much by heart, 287; re 
verent use of it in schools, 285. 

Scripture Readers, unpaid, 317. 

Self-reliance, temptation to, 68. 

Sermon borrowing, 122 ; notes, 151 ; 
subjects for, 133. 

Shortening the services, 58. 

Sickness, temporary and mortal, 199. 

Sins, forgiveness of, by God only, 37 ; 
in the public absolution, 264. 

Singers, church, 319 ; under control 
of clergymen, 387. 

Social intercourse, object of, 85. 

Society leavened by clergy, 80. 

Sprinkling in baptism, 159. 

Study, duty of, 61 ; for preaching, 
128 ; for dealing with error, 238. 

Sympathy with flock, 74. 

Systematic habits, 94. 

Taylor, Jeremy, on confession, 266. 

Tea-drinkings, 368. 

Teachers, infant school, 297; Sun 
day school, 302 ; day school, 327. 

Thomas, Archdeacon, on Village 
Feasts, 363. 

Towns, importance of, 92; great 
sources of lay help, 337. 

Tracts for Times on preaching, 99. 

teaching error, 243. 

Valetudinarianism, spiritual, 267. 

Village feasts, 361. 

Visitation of the Sick, 192 ; use of 
the office, 203 ; general rules about, 
209 ; Manual for, 213 ; Infectious 
cases, 219. 

Weekly Communions, 187. 
Wesley, his principles, 241. 
Whately, Archbishop, on young com 
municants, 185 ; visits to infected 



436 



INDEX. 



persons, 219; intercourse with 

parishioners, 226. 
Wicked persons, pastoral dealing 

with, 230. 
Wilson, Bishop, advice given him 

about daily service, 48 ; prayer 

about study, 64. 
Woman s work, iu infant schools, 



296. 328; evening classes, 330; 
district visiting, 331 ; cautions re 
specting, 323 ; distinctive dress in 
certain cases, 332. 

Worldliuess, protection against, 53. 
83. 

Year, the Christian, for sick persons, 
198. 



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MESSES. EITIKGTON S CATALOGUE. 13 



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MESSES. Eirns T GTO^ s CATALOGUE. 15 

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LATE FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. 



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At the same time, no pains have 
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ing in any way the character of the 
work, or making it inconvenient to 
use it side by side with copies of 
the last edition. 



A Second Latin Book, and Practical Grammar. Intended 

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